Our unsung heroes who went above and beyond during the 2022 floods.
Many of our courageous staff members worked tirelessly through the thick of the floods to ensure that our clients, families, and everyone in our communities continued to receive support services during this challenging time. The efforts and big hearts that joined forces during this time were nothing short of inspiring and a true testament to the strong community spirit that surrounds us.
Heather M. our Mental Health Caseworker was rescued from the roof of our Supported Independent Living (SIL) properties in Lismore along with one of our clients Emma*. Heather showed tremendous bravery putting Emma* and her dog first, and went on to support her for the next two days without a break to ensure Emma* was sheltered and had emotional support.
While Heather’s Community Support Manager was out of reach due to the flooding, Heather coordinated an emergency accommodation for Emma* to reside in and organised support and medication. Heather’s efforts are heroic, as she demonstrated compassion and strength, even though the floods had a considerable impact on her family’s business while she also lost her car.
Oliver*, one of our clients, lost everything in the floods and was lucky to escape alive after being rescued from a tree after four hours. To lose everything but the clothes on your back is unfathomable. As we know, the reality is that Oliver* is one of many who suffered dramatically in the Northern Rivers floods. It is now our time to give back to Oliver* and every single person in our community who needs help right now.
Danica R. our Mental Health Outreach Caseworker was on the ground throughout the peak of the floods in Lismore to ensure Momentum’s clients were safe and had access to shelter, and other necessities. Our Lismore team received some fantastic feedback from co-workers and clients stating that Danica was a credit to our organisation.
Natalijia T. one of our Mental Health SIL caseworkers demonstrated extraordinary resilience and bravery after being rescued from the roof of a Supported Independent Living (SIL) property. She supported our clients Tyler* and Brodie* for over four hours in the pouring rain before they were all rescued and taken to safety by community volunteers.
Tyler* showed immense courage in a time of panic after he kicked a hole in the roof for staff and clients to access the top of the house to escape the water. He lost everything in the floods, including his wallet with all his identification cards. Although this has caused him a lot of stress with accessing money in the aftermath, he has become a superhero and has handled everything reasonably well, considering his loss.
Our Momentum Collective support workers in Lismore have been working diligently with Tyler* to ensure he has the best support possible, and most importantly, to help him re-build his home.
Brodie* remained calm and is beyond grateful to Tyler* who saved his life when he kicked the top of the roof open. Although he lost most of his belongings, he was both amazed and happy to have kept his paintings above the flood line in his home.
Elijah G. one of our Mental Health (SIL) Case Support Workers supported our Mental Health clients Andrew*, Kerry*, and John* living in Lismore during a time with no power or communication. He arranged gas cookers and camping lights to ensure they were all provided with essential food and a warm cup of tea. Elijah worked over and beyond to ensure everyone had consistent support during a time of trauma.
We want to give a special shout-out to Phillip M. one of our Lead Support Workers at Uralba St; who accepted a lift in a kayak from his work colleague Elijah to take over and let our exhausted staff have a break.
Lead Support Worker Alana B. displayed extraordinary leadership as she supported the Ballina team immeasurably during these testing times by developing a quick-acting plan to prioritise Robert*, Amanda*, Harry* calmly and professionally. Our amazing staff in Ballina organised urgent Short Term Accommodation without any hesitation and did everything to ensure their clients and staff received support.
Our Service Director of Disability Outreach, Fiona M. and the wonderful team from our Casino Neighbourhood Centre were on the ground and worked relentlessly to coordinate their centre as a donation dropping point. They received boxes of food staples, baby supplies and toiletries from Caspa (a local family support service Caspa), bags of clothes and accessories for women from local shop Aruma, and Hello Fresh produce donated from the Anglican Church in Lismore.
Throughout these chaotic times, the local communities united together to help each other and it was remarkable to witness so many big hearts and caring souls all doing their bit for their community.
If there is one thing that we learned through the floods, we can rely on the power of people and the wider community to look after each other. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a region to help communities rebuild. We cannot be prouder of every one of you who volunteered, donated, or contributed to helping our communities in need.
As an organisation, Momentum Collective seeks help for the 150+ flood-affected clients living in the Northern Rivers region. If you can contribute even in the slightest way, whether it is donating funds or a form of a voucher, we cannot begin to express how much this will help those who lost everything and provide vital humanitarian support to the people directly affected by the 2022 floods.
Please note names* have been changed to protect privacy.
If you are looking to donate and support those who were affected directly by the 2022 floods, visit our donate page or call our friendly team on 1300 900 091 to find out more about our fundraiser appeals.