A group of Rotarians with building and project management skills visited Westport for the second time in mid November to be updated on progress by Shayne Barry from the Westport Flood Recovery team.

What has been achieved to date:

Rotarians from across the country have been fundraising for Rotary Westport Flood Relief effort, and are looking at practical ways to help and use the funding on sustainable and worthwhile projects in the town. Rotary has already supported the Salvation Army by donating $2,500 towards dedicated food parcels immediately after the flooding.

On the 1st  of December Rotarians in Blenheim had a “Wet your Whistle for Westport” fundraiser involving several pubs and restaurants. They raised approximately $8K with the money raised going to the Rotary Westport Flood Relief Fund.

The bright light on the horizon was a team of Rotarians from nine clubs across the Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough coming together over a period of a week in November to organise Shop Zero. Mikaere and his whanau who voluntarily look after the shop, have been inundated with goods donated for those who have lost their possessions in the flood. To date over 300 families have received assistance. Shop Zero is now an organised space making it easier to manage, A wonderful collaboration between Rotary and the local community.

Rotary has also viewed the eight temporary homes (Stafford Street & Queen Street) in Westport to assess how Rotary could be involved in their upgrade. It was decided that in January a team could assist with the interior painting and, if an opportunity arose, they would help with the planting of community gardens around these houses. This would give several families housing while waiting for their own homes to be repaired.

Rotary members also used this time to assess some flood affected households where homeowners had limited means to carry out repairs. Over the past weeks Rotarians with specific knowledge and skills have been helping with minor repair work. This ongoing work is a great collaborative project using the volunteering and skilled labour of Rotarians in partnership with the Westport Flood Recovery team to help flood affected residents within the Westport Community.