A new face will be around the region supporting families who are battling the lasting effects of the drought. Armidale Family Support Service, Armidale Mazda and The Mazda Foundation announced the appointment of their new drought support worker, Nigel Forsyth, this week. Mr Forsyth spent more than 30 years of working with rural and regional groups in farming, small business, chaplaincy, bushfire support and the disability sector. "I'm delighted to be in the role and despite the limits of the COVID-19issues, I'm looking forward to meeting up with a number of groups and individuals in the New England Region," he said.
The drought support worker role aims to connect individuals and families in the Armidale Regional Council, Uralla and Walcha Local Government areas who are affected by isolation, and challenges caused by the drought and bushfires the region has recently experienced. Manager Anne Rix said that it is essential to remember that despite COVID-19 issues being at the forefront of the news, the region is still being impacted strongly by drought, and farmers and families in the area are dealing with this issue every day. Having been in contact with "Boss Cockies" to shed hands, significant to small businesses, and people that might otherwise fall through the cracks, Mr Forsyth is looking to provide all sorts of assistance. This can include things like organising food deliveries, helping with budgets and referrals to other agencies for appropriate assistance like mental health support or farm assistance packages.