Lara Launchbury watches as her mother Linda Garwood selects clothing at the AgroTrend evacuation centre.
Lara Launchbury watches as her mother Linda Garwood selects clothing at the AgroTrend evacuation centre. Mike Knott BUNHER

Evacuation centre provides basics

THE AgroTrend grounds have become a temporary home to many Bundaberg residents after being evacuated and left with nothing by the floods.

The evacuation centre was busy yesterday with volunteers sorting donations and getting basic supplies to those with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Jayne Dingle-Watkins, a clinical mental health nurse at Bundaberg Hospital, decided to adopt a flood-affected family from the evacuation point.

"I wanted to help a family; I came here to find a family to adopt," she said.

"The thought of being homeless brings me to tears.

"I'm looking after this family, her husband and her two kids."

Mrs Dingle-Watkins, her husband and two children will be taking the Garwood family of four under their wings to help them get back on their feet.

"They've got nothing," she said.

"I just want them to have something.

"They're struggling to find anything to take, because they have nothing. Where do you start?"

Mrs Dingle-Watkins, who lives in Coral Cove, was unaffected by the flood or weekend tornadoes.

"I'd like to call out to my neighbours to do the same," she said.

Lexie Vowles, of Bundaberg, was also volunteering at AgroTrend when the NewsMail caught up with her.

"It's just overwhelming," she said. "Times are tough and people are going beyond their limits to help.

"There are people that are donating that are going out and buying stuff - it's incredible."

Mrs Vowles said if people wanted to help at the evacuation centre, all they needed to do was walk in and volunteer.

"I'm safe, so I just think I'll help other people," she said.

"Our workplace has gone under over north, so you come here to work and to help."

Louise Henrickson, who works at Impact Make Your Mark, said the donation area at the grounds was a kind of organised chaos.

"We spread the boxes out and put them into order - toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo etc," she said.

"We've done some packs up with basic supplies so people can just come and grab packs. We have at least 100 volunteers in our area.

"We're flooded, so I'm here."

Mrs Henrickson said the support from the community had been astounding.

"Once it went out that we needed donations, the response was incredible," she said.



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