Volunteers travel east to aid farmers

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Boyup Brook's Peter Chilwell has raised nearly $100,000 to send volunteers to assist the post fire rebuild.
Camera IconBoyup Brook's Peter Chilwell has raised nearly $100,000 to send volunteers to assist the post fire rebuild. Credit: South West Times

Boyup Brook’s Peter Chilwell has organised for volunteers to help with the clean-up and reconstruction of farms affected by the recent bushfires in New South Wales.

The initiative has seen volunteers travel to NSW, including four from Boyup Brook, as well as four from New Zealand.

“The reason why I’m flying people...is because farmers here that can give up their time are fairly time poor, so we need to get them over there as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We can fly them over there... and they can be on the fence line the next day.

“The beauty of what I’m doing is we’re taking experienced fencers and experienced farmers over there and as soon as they get there, they have the energy and the know how of what needs to be done, even without being told.”

Mr Chilwell has raised nearly $100,000 to fund the trips and pay the expenses of the volunteer groups.

“There has been virtually hundreds of people that have either donated money or their time and their resources to help us,” Mr Chilwell said.

Local events have contributed money to Mr Chilwell’s intiative, including Rylington Park’s Storm in a Tea Cup field day, as well as team entry fees from the Boyup Brook Community Fox Shoot.

Mr Chilwell said he was inspired to help after a phone call with a friend in the affected area who described how his neighbours had been impacted by the fires.

“It all started with a phone call to a mate of mine over there, just to see how he was getting on.

“After I hung up the phone conversation, I said to Ros my wife, we’ve really got to do something about this.”

Donations are being managed by the Lions Club of Boyup Brook and potential volunteers should contact Peter Chilwell on 0429 117 364.

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