As part of a staff fundraiser program, Casual for a Cause, Kempsey Shire Council have donated $1000 to the Love Bites Program - a respectful relationships education program for young people.
Council's fundraiser sees staff wear casual clothes to work on a Friday for a gold coin donation, when the fundraising sum reaches $1000 staff agree for it to be donated to a local charity or community organisation.
Kempsey Families Inc have been running the Love Bites Program in Macleay high schools for a number of years. The money donated by council will help progress artwork within the program.
"The funding will assist with the purchase of flags for Smith St. The flags are created by young people of the Macleay after completing the Love Bites program at school," Kempsey Families Inc Executive Officer June Wilson said.
"The overall aims of the program are to equip young people with the knowledge needed to have respectful relationships, encourage and develop their skills in critical thinking and assist them in being able to problem solve."
Kempsey Families Inc is part of the Domestic Violence Monitoring Committee which coordinates Love Bites in the Macleay in partnership with local police and health and community support organisations.
The program is delivered at local high schools including Kempsey Adventist School, Kempsey High School, Macleay Vocational College, Melville High School, St Paul's College and Key Employment Kempsey.
Mid North Coast Police District Commander Shane Cribb and NSW Police Region Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator Kiah Bowen accepted the cheque from council on behalf of Kempsey Families Inc on Friday.
"Because Kempsey already has the program, this donation will be used to expand the program into more high schools and offer it from Year 7 to Year 10," Ms Bowen said.
"The artwork that the students create at the end of the program will be used throughout the community as well."
Council's General Manager Craig Milburn said staff really got behind the fundraiser which made this donation possible.
"Council is pleased to be able to support NSW Police, NSW Health and Kempsey Families Inc in delivering this project at our local high schools," he said.
"COVID-19 really put a hold on our fundraising with many of our staff working from home.
"This donation was raised primarily earlier in the year when we held the Casual for a Cause each week. We're hoping to start the collections again in the coming weeks," he said.
Due to COVID-19, the Love Bites program will not go ahead this year but will resume in 2021.