The difficult decision has been made to close the Blazeaid camp at the Kempsey Showground due to a low number of volunteers.
The camp opened last month and was a direct response to the March 2021 floods that impacted the Macleay.
While seeking to assist farmers who were impacted by the flood, BlazeAid were unable to recruit the essential number of volunteers from the area, surrounds and travelers, needed to undertake their field-based work.
This is despite multiple calls for volunteers through Kemspey Shire Council networks and local media.
Camp coordinator Mary Howarth said there were a number of factors that impacted their decision to close the camp.
"We simply couldn't get the volunteers to carry out the work," she said.
"The weather was also an issue because it just kept raining and we couldn't get out onto the paddocks."
The camp was open for three weeks and the small number of volunteers were able to assist four farmers in rebuilding fences.
"I would still be there if I could. It's such a shame that we didn't get the volunteers that we needed," Mary said.
"I know that other camps on the Mid North Coast are also struggling to get volunteers.
"A lot of the travelling grey nomads have gone to Queensland and there aren't a lot of backpackers around who are willing to volunteer which makes it hard to get the numbers we need."
Many areas in the Kempsey region also remain waterlogged and are inaccessible, owing to the loss of infrastructure, which prevents BlazeAid from being able to access a property.
"We had some farmers telling us that we wouldn't be able to access their property until at least September when it dries out," Mary said.
The decision to close the camp was not taken lightly and BlazeAid leave with a heavy heart and great disappointment for the farmers and community that they have been unable to assist.
"It's been very hard on the farmers and hopefully we will get back there if we're needed and if we can get the volunteers," Mary said.
To find out more about the work BlazeAid does, further updates and to find out how you can assist, visit their website Blazeaid.com.
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