An initiative providing respite support to Australian Defence Force veterans and their families is set to expand into Port Macquarie.
Retired civil marriage celebrant Norma French is driving the introduction here of the community-based respite program for veterans and their families, under the Robe 2 Recovery umbrella.
Accommodation at a single holiday home in about 2015 at Robe blossomed into a true community initiative which united the South Australian seaside town.
The Robe Tourism Association backed the program, more than 40 holiday homes came on board with donated accommodation for veterans and their families, 80 per cent of Robe's businesses have contributed and residents supported the program too.
Robe 2 Recovery includes complimentary accommodation, gift vouchers from businesses for products and services, free activities, gifts of local products on arrival, and cards and messages of thanks for each veteran and their family.
The model has since started in Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula as well as the Victorian town of Cobden and Phillip Island off Australia's southern coast.
Ms French is focused on adding Port Macquarie to that list.
"It is such a brilliant concept - to think people would give so willingly," she said.
Ms French has already received an excellent response as the groundwork for the Port Macquarie program gathers momentum.
She said the initiative would be magnificent here.
Ms French said she wanted Port Macquarie to have a big heart and support veterans and their families.
Jacqui Bateman and Justin Brown are the faces behind Robe 2 Recovery.
Ms Bateman said an expansion into Port Macquarie would give more veterans a chance for respite.
"We found a lot of people want to do something for our veterans but they don't know how to help," she said.
Robe 2 Recovery is a means for the community to lend a helping hand.
Ms Bateman said the respite program was a way of showing veterans they were valued and their contribution was valued.
Messages of thanks from veterans and their families speak of renewed enthusiasm for life, the pursuit of new opportunities, strengthened relationships and humbled thanks for the community support and recognition.
Accommodation providers and other businesses interested in supporting the initiative in Port Macquarie can contact Norma French on 0427 662774.
What else is making news?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Bookmark our website
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
You can support us with a subscription
Follow us on Twitter: @portmacnews
Follow us on Instagram: @portmacnews
Follow us on Google News