11 January 2024

Volunteers come to the fore when needed most

| Matt Nicholls
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Suzy Auld and Wendy Rowlands at The Tin Shed in Ayton.

Locals helping locals has been a common theme through the flooding crisis in Far North Queensland so it was no surprise to see plenty of help on hand in places like Ayton.

Last week, Cape York Weekly spent time at The Tin Shed, which has become a refuge for locals needing essential items.

We caught up with Suzy Auld and Wendy Rowlands, who were reluctant to speak, hoping to avoid any attention for their efforts.

However, they have made a huge difference to their community since the heavy rains destroyed the homes of dozens of neighbours and friends.

“There’s definitely a little bit of survivor’s guilt,” Wendy said.

“I’m one of the really lucky ones. There was one branch down at my place.”

The Tin Shed resembled a mini supermarket last week.

Suzy said she was in a similar position, but had taken the time to volunteer at The Tin Shed to help those who were less fortunate.

Donations of food, clothes, toiletries and other essential items soon started flowing in.

“Initially, we had a large amount of donations came from the Gungarde Corporation in Cooktown and then a lady in Cairns organised some goods to get here,” Suzy said.

“Some people have lost absolutely everything, so they needed clothes and sanitary items.

“Now we’ve moved more into the recovery phase and have things like equipment, tents, PPE and other helpful items.”

Wendy said: “We look after each other down here”.

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