Coffs Harbour Red Cross plans another busy year

Coffs Harbour Branch of the Australian Red Cross members Jill Watters, Norma Romeril, Maureen Hammond, Sandra Whittle, Helene Johnson, Alistair Robertson, Elaine Neal, Alison Nash and Trish Mill.

THE Coffs Harbour Branch of the Australian Red Cross held its first meeting for 2023 in the gardens of Red Cross House in McLean Street on Saturday 11 February, where members set about planning for another busy year for the branch helping out the community.

Red Cross membership offers community contact and engagement.

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“It is an opportunity to support the largest humanitarian organisation in the world; your involvement either big or small is valuable to the Red Cross,” Trish Mill, Coffs Harbour Red Cross told News Of The Area.

The Coffs Harbour Branch meets every second Saturday of the month at Red Cross House, 9 McLean Street (next to the oval) at 9am, with morning tea provided.

The Branch has just recommenced meetings for 2023 with a few initiatives that still need to be put in place.

“Fundraising will be on our agenda with raffles, cake bakes and Melbourne Cup High Tea which we hope will be bigger and brighter this year.

“We celebrate World Red Cross Day on 8 May each year.

“This is the birthday of the Swiss founder of the Red Cross, Henri Dunant.”

The group will march and lay a wreath at the Coffs Harbour and Sawtell ANZAC Day services.

Some of the programs members can become involved in include the following.

Emergency Services/Psychological First/Personal Support is a program that supports communities affected by disasters in evacuation and recovery centres.

“We also provide valuable information on how to prepare for disasters.”

In the Pillowcase Project, members engage with primary school students to build resilience and give them strategies for coping with a disaster.

A pillowcase is given to the student to draw on and colour in and think about what necessary items they would pack in an emergency evacuation.

Trauma Teddies is a long-standing project.

“These little teddies, knitted or crocheted by Red Cross volunteers, are given to children and adults in times of trauma and stress, particularly those in hospital,” said Trish.

The Refugee and Migrant Playgroup volunteers assist families from the CALD community (Cultural and Linguistic Diverse) to assimilate by helping them with their English skills, filling in forms and any questions about the Australian way of life, while their children are engaged in play activities.

In the Learner Driver Program, volunteers act as a mentor to assist migrants to gain their drivers licence using one of the Red Cross cars.

Telecross and Telechat sees volunteers making a daily or weekly phone call to an isolated, vulnerable person to check on their welfare.

There is also a Community Visitors Scheme where volunteers are matched with a socially isolated older person for a short weekly or fortnightly visit.

Volunteers who participate in these programs do not necessarily have to belong to the branch.

“However we find that those members who volunteer in one or more of the programs feel that the branch provides a focal point for them to share their experiences and gain feedback.

“Our friendly branch welcomes new members, and we offer a range of volunteering roles that members can choose to participate in,” said Trish.


Contact president Maureen Hammond at or phone 0418 214587; or Trish Mill at or phone 0431 288447.


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