In February, devastating bushfires ripped through the beautiful Pappinbarra Valley leaving behind a trail of devastation.
Fast forward to Sunday and the community was out in force supporting their fellow residents and putting on a brave face at the Grown & Gathered Community Market at Pappinbarra.
It was raising funds for Beechwood Public School P&C.
While the Rebuild Pappinbarra fundraising effort has officially ended and the funds distributed to help property owners begin the slow rebuilding of fences, sheds and infrastructure, Pappinbarra Progress Association president Lisa McLeod says the scars from those February bushfires are slowly being healed.
“The Grown & Gathered markets were introduced two years ago as a way for the people of the valley to have an outlet for their produce,” Mrs McLeod said.
“Normally we would attract up to 20 stallholders but on Sunday we had over 30 local stallholders in operation supporting our community.
“With the support of the Beechwood Public School and its P&C, the markets have gone from strength to strength and there are plenty of people out here enjoying our markets.
“Our markets have a distinct difference to them, it’s the feel and the personal touch that we have out here. The stallholders are friends of ours and they will do anything for the people of this valley.”
Every phone call is an offer of support. While the bushfires were devastating, it has really brought the community together.Lisa McLeod
Mrs McLeod said the market success was built on mutual trust and respect.
She said the February bushfires had galvanised the community with people looking out for each other.
“Every phone call is an offer of support. While the bushfires were devastating, it has really brought the community together,” she added.
With the funds from Rebuild Pappinbarra distributed, Mrs McLeod said there were was still much to do.
“Along with Heather Smith, we are still working behind the scenes on a couple of things.”
With another difficult summer bushfire season approaching, Mrs McLeod said the Hollisdale rural fire service will be attending an information session at the fire shed on Saturday at 2pm.
This event is for residents in Pipeclay Road, Bellangry, Beechwood and Pappinbarra and will provide information on how to prepare your home for the upcoming bushfire season.
“We don’t want to go through what we did before in February,” Mrs McLeod said.