Aged care services provider HammondCare has opened a new home care regional headquarters in Lismore, NSW, providing an invaluable resource for a region that has been hard hit by major flooding over the last six years.
It’s been 18 months since Lismore was hit by back-to-back major floods, including a record 14.4 metre flood peak on February 28, 2022. It resulted in four deaths and the destruction of over 2,000 homes. Residents had to evacuate on both occasions as homes, businesses and infrastructure were destroyed.
Local clients were on-site to witness the headquarter’s grand opening, including South Lismore resident Roger Manby, aged 86. Mr Manby has witnessed countless floods but has often been lucky enough to escape the worst of it by watching on from his first-floor veranda.
Sadly, his luck ran out in 2022 as his home was flooded last year. Mr Manby’s son woke him up at 3am as the floodwaters rose drastically and entered the first floor of their house.
“My son warned me this flood was going to be worse than I was expecting, and I better get out of bed now. So, we all hightailed it onto the roof and waited six hours before help arrived,” Mr Manby said.
Now, over a year later, he’s expected to move back into his home this month after repair work saw his walls and floors replaced – both of which Mr Manby said had “turned into porridge”. Some of the repairs were funded by HammondCare’s charity fundraising arm The HammondCare Foundation, which raised $85,000 to support 11 clients and five staff impacted by the floods. Another $10,000 was donated to the Lismore Flood Appeal.
Mr Manby was part of a packed house for the grand opening of the headquarters as the New South Wales Premier Chris Minns joined HammondCare Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Baird, NSW State MP Jannelle Saffin and Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg.
“It’s an honour to be at the opening of such an important care provider which will ensure elder members of this community are supported particularly as Lismore continues to rebuild. We know there is still a [long] way to go, but providers like HammondCare play a vital role in supporting this community,” Premier Minns said.
CEO Mike Baird said their presence would ensure more older members of the community can receive essential support at home.
“HammondCare is delighted to be making a contribution to the rebuilding effort and be part of the optimism and vibrancy of Lismore,” Mr Baird said.
HammondCare’s presence in Lismore will no doubt provide invaluable support not only for home care clients but also for the local economy.