Saturday Workshop: Contributing to  community development through volunteering

Volunteers are worth billions of dollars to the Australian economy, are represented in all age groups over 18 years, are found from the Arts, Business, Professional, Welfare, Community, Education and Training, Emergency Services right through to Sport and Recreation.  They are the lifeblood of Australian Red Cross and there are some 30,000 Australian Red Cross volunteers making a difference in the lives of Australians  every year through their contributions to Red Cross programs.

Carolyn Townson, Regional Emergency Services Officer with responsibilities for volunteer management, training and development and regional project management will facilitate an informative and interactive session on volunteering  in a community development environment.  ‘Contributing to Community Development through Volunteering’ will provide valuable insights into volunteering, in particular its rewards and challenges, and provide you with the opportunity to participate in an  open  discussion to help identify volunteering opportunities which support the future sustainability of Gloucester and its environs.

Sunday Workshop: Improving your emergency and disaster preparedness – Australian Red Cross REDiPlan Program

This workshop is all about you and your household’s preparedness for  emergencies and disasters which can strike at any time and disrupt lives in many different ways.  Disasters are unpredictable, destructive events that can impact in a range of ways and disrupt whole communities.

When they happen, everyone in the area is often affected in some way.  It is important that your household has a plan for what to do before, during and after a disaster.  By doing so, you will be better prepared mentally, physically and emotionally.  Remember, preparing today can make a big difference tomorrow and being prepared can save lives and lessen the impact of such events.    In Australia, we are accustomed to disasters including floods, storms, fires, cyclones, heat waves and prolonged drought.  Our Hunter region is no stranger to disasters with some 18 declared disasters across the Hunter and Central Coast area since 2009 including fires and severe weather events, and not to mention the Newcastle Earthquake and other significant events of earlier years.

This Australian Red Cross workshop will take you through its four step  REDiPlan program to provide you with practical steps to follow and companion resources to guide you in your emergency planning.  This workshop will help increase your understanding of the importance of being informed, making your plan, getting your emergency kit ready and knowing your neighbours.  The fourth step is particularly important as it emphasises the vital part that communities can play in preparing for emergencies.    Increasing the numbers of households which are prepared will help strengthen your overall community’s preparedness.

Emergencies and disasters may not be something we think about every day but they can disrupt by damaging your home and your valuables, affecting your health, upsetting routines or causing unforeseen financial burden.  By taking some time to think about and plan for emergencies, you can help yourself and your household to be prepared and cope better if an emergency occurs.

Join Carolyn Townson, Australian Red Cross Regional Emergency Services Officer, in this very practical and productive workshop and support your community preparedness

Carolyn  joined Australian Red Cross in 2013 to manage the Hunter and Central Coast Disaster Resilience Workshop project which brought together emergency services agencies, government, community service providers and other stakeholders to help improve emergency preparedness in three of the most vulnerable groups in the Hunter and Central Coast region of New South Wales.  The project received state and national awards for its contribution to building community resilience to emergencies and disasters in Australia.  Since then, as Regional Emergency Services Officer, Carolyn has managed hundreds of Red Cross Emergency Services volunteers who make a significant contribution to their communities from the Hawkesbury to Port Macquarie and out west to Scone, many have also been  activated to interstate disasters.    Carolyn was appointed Recovery Coordinator for the Cardiff town centre revitalisation program following its devastation during the 2007 Hunter Flood event, contributed to the operations management of the University of Newcastle’s Research and International Division as a senior business analyst, and has a history of achievements in both the public and private sectors in business and community development

REd Cross