When church and community leaders in the Camden/Wollondilly/Wingecarribee area acknowledged the number of locals affected by the grief of the 2019/2020 bushfires and Covid-19, the idea for ‘The Listening Post’ was born. Through it, people can express what they’ve been through via short stories, poems, artworks, videos, or any other creative medium. And with (hopefully) a lot of people telling their stories through this project, it was recognised that some of them might identify ongoing mental health needs because of what they’ve experienced. So, the Baptist Association of NSW/ACT is supporting this new project by offering the services of Bruce Chan, funded by donations from our Bushfire Relief Appeal. Bruce is a skilled (ex-BaptistCare) counsellor who is currently supporting the South Coast post-bushfires – and he’ll be on call so that story contributors of The Listening Post can have access to any further mental health support that they might need.

Bruce thinks that the initiative is a great idea for locals. “A healthy way for people who have been through a significant event – like the fires, or Covid – is to be able to share their experiences,” he says. “The title of this project is about people listening and supporting their communities by hearing their stories. And that just allows people to process what they’ve been through – which also helps build resilience in a community. Because when a community feels like it’s connected, and that stories are acknowledged/validated, that naturally gives them a lot of strength.” Our Bushfire Relief Coordinator, Kelly Crawford, agrees: “Resilient communities are able to wether things together a bit more, and there are usually stronger support networks in them. People are less likely to experience long-term effects of anxiety and depression if they have been well supported through their community.” 

P R A Y / / 

  • This project is in its early stages. Please pray that people would hear about it and feel like they can contribute. Pray too that they could share positivity, to show others how a lot can be learned/gained through difficult times.
  • Pray that the local community would become a support network for people who might still be in need or affected by the past year. Pray particularly for the churches in this area (including our own Tahmoor Baptist and The Refuge, who are partners of the project) – that they would be having conversations with people, identifying when someone is struggling, and linking people to other services.
  • Pray that Bruce would be able to look after himself well whilst in this caring role.

(If you are a local wanting support following the bushfires/Covid, contact 9868 9257 to arrange a time to chat with Bruce)


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