HELPING HAND: Peter McDowell and his dog Sonny.
HELPING HAND: Peter McDowell and his dog Sonny.

The Central Highlanders offering help to the isolated

HUNDREDS of Central Highlands citizens are offering their time and charity to those who need a hand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Emerald resident and mental wellbeing advocate Peter McDowell said he would deliver food to those in isolation if they felt unsafe leaving their homes.

“People need bread, they need milk, they need essentials,” he said.

“If somebody rings me up at 9pm and says they need some milk for their baby, I can go and pick it up for them.”

He said to cover the cost of fuel, people could leave $5 or a small donation in their letterboxes.

Mr McDowell also offered to simply chat with residents.

“There are people in town that are isolated,” he said. “They’re going to miss out on their social coffees and their chats with other people.

“There are people out there with mental health issues.

“If people want to have a chat or a laugh or a joke, they can. If they want to tell a story, there’s people out there who will listen to them.”

Mr McDowell can be contacted on 0456 716 758.

On Monday Rasheeda Layton started a Facebook group called ‘Let’s Share’, which allows those with surplus supplies to give to the needy.

Ms Layton said the group was “born out of a sad heart”.

“I watched a lady in a pharmacy ask for Panadol for her four-year-old daughter who suffered from ear infections. [She] was told there was none left to sell her.

“I just knew that if there was a way to communicate people’s needs at the moment, that all needs would be met.”

Page followers, of which there were more than 500 on Wednesday, can choose to give away items for free or ask for the retail price.

“People are stronger than they realise and we have such a unique opportunity right now to be strong and courageous,” Ms Layton said.

“Human nature is to come together.”

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar is providing a delivery service to elderly Central Highlanders.

Nearly 150 people responded to his request on Facebook for volunteers to deliver needed goods.

“We’re keeping in contact with our senior citizens to make sure they’re okay,” Mr Millar said.

“We’re using Facebook at the moment to build a bit of a network. This is the time when our community needs to come together.

“Contact your neighbour or an older person and make sure they’re okay. Let them know, if they need something, that we’re able to do it.”

Mr Millar’s Emerald office number is 4913 1000.

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