****Post updated Thursday 9 January
There is so much information out there related to the fires but there are a few things we wanted to share with the Variety community. We will continue to update this page.
👉 The National Disability Insurance Agency have released some information for participants and their families affected by bushfires. For information call the usual NDIS number – 1800 800 110 which is open call centre hours Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm. The website says people affected by the fires will be “prioritised” to make sure they can still receive support, replace equipment etc. Providers have been told that the priority is to provide support and services to people who need them. Payment will be made after the emergency through an “urgent plan review” if necessary. A number of NDIA and Local Area Coordination offices are still closed due to the fires. Details are on their website
👉 If you need a place to stay, Accessible Australia are trying to help people find accessible accommodation. If you need accessible accommodation or would like to volunteer your home or a bed please visit their Facebook page
👉 IDEAS are a national disability information service. They have lots of emergency information at their fingertips. Their phone number is 1800 029 904 and their website
👉 Not sure about talking to kids here is an interesting piece on psychological first aid for children and adolescents you may find helpful. We also encourage you to reach out to organisations like Lifeline, Black Dog Institute, Kids Helpline or Beyond Blue if you need to have a conversation with someone about what is happening.
👉 If your family needs tailored support for your family have a look at the Australian Psychological Society website or talk to your GP.
👉 Early Connections have developed a fabulous Bush Fire Social Story to share with people with autism. Social Stories are a social learning tool that supports the safe and meaningful exchange of information between parents, professionals, and people with autism of all ages. If you need to you can adapt the social story to your family by downloading the word document from their website.
👉 This article from Northcott on how to support a person with a disability during the fire season is worth a read to help you and your family prepare or make decisions during a fire in your area.
👉 Our Kids Support team has compiled a number of resources for families seeking specific support that you can access here.
👉 Variety grants are open and although we know we’re not top of mind for crisis relief we’re here. We can move quickly if you’re eligible for one of our grants and you need something fast reach out to our kids support team on 9819 1000, email [email protected] or here.
You may also want to read
We continue to focus on reaching all kids and supporting families and communities, regardless of how remote or regional they may be. Children who are forced to travel great distances for medical appointments, educational opportunities and sporting competitions often face particular challenges and that’s where we come in – making sure that all kids can attain their full potential, regardless of their background.
New Grant Breaks Records
In early 2021, we undertook a grants review process to ensure we were providing help where help was needed. We compared our systems to those in Variety offices across the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland and throughout Australia. After analysing the results, we used the information to revamp our Kids Support framework and launch four new grants: We Move, We Join, We Care and We Learn.