After numerous disasters have impacted the Hawkesbury over the past three and a half years, a Community Development Worker (CDW) has been funded.
the CDW will assist community organisations with opportunities to build resilience and capacity to support their neighbourhoods face future disasters.
Following an EOI process Wentworth Healthcare, provider of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN), has funded Hawkesbury City Council to engage the Disaster Recovery Community Development Worker.
Council has played an integral role in assisting disaster affected and impacted individuals and will use this experience to support existing and emerging community groups with training, support and guidance.
The CDW roles were developed in response to extensive stakeholder consultation.
Wentworth Healthcare CEO, Lizz Reay, said the consultations revealed while there had been a significant amount of funding provided to communities, there were few people available to assist with leveraging opportunities.
"We have seen a huge amount of investment into our vulnerable communities that have been affected by drought, bushfires and floods, which is fabulous, but it's a lot of information for already stretched community organisations and members to navigate," she said.
"The Community Development Worker roles will develop strong links with communities, support community groups with building sustainable networks to enhance resilience and capacity, assist with skills training.
"[They will] help them to identify what opportunities are available, which ones address their needs, what's involved in the application process, and what they need to do once they actually get the funding."
A significant part of the role involves collaborating with existing disaster recovery organisations to ensure all impacted communities and groups can access the support.
Tracey Greenaway, CDW for Hawkesbury City Council, said that she is working alongside communities, supporting people to connect, belong and be involved in community-led groups or activities in their area.
"I help draw together ideas from a community, bring together like-minded people and agencies, and guide people through the next steps," she said.
"Whether that is a grant application process, committee development, or leadership training, to create a sustainable outcome for the community.
"When you are connected to your community and have a social network around you, you are much more resilient when 'life happens', not just the next disaster.
"Having access to this resource, which develops opportunities for community-led activities and groups, means that people can connect, belong and be involved in an exciting idea in their community and develop stronger connections where they live.
Wentworth Healthcare encourages residents to connect with their local CDW to ensure all community groups get the assistance they need in the next stage of their recovery journey.
Tracey Greenaway can be contacted on 0428 212 948.
For more information about the Disaster Recovery Community Development Workers visit - nbmphn.com.au/LocalHealthServices.