Volunteers needed for Gore clean-up

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Volunteering Otago is seeking volunteers to help their Southland neighbours.

The organisation launched an appeal on Monday to get people from Dunedin to Gore to help with the Farmy Army clean-up on Sunday.

Volunteering Otago manager Leisa de Klerk said Southland was in “dire need” of more helpers.

She received a call from Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker who asked if Otago residents could help their Southland neighbours.

Ms de Klerk said transport was one of the main barriers preventing people from volunteering, so the organisation would arrange buses to get people there and back.

Volunteer co-ordinators would meet volunteers in Gore and send them out to rural areas in teams.

“The good thing is it’s not just helping out in the bigger spaces, it’s about getting people involved in rural Southland, which is a very unseen part of New Zealand a lot of the time.

farmers in Gore who don’t necessarily have the amount of support networks that people who are closest to the city will have.”

Volunteers should dress warmly and expect to get a bit muddy.

“If anyone would like to donate some gumboots that would be fantastic.”

More than 30 people had expressed an interest in volunteering since the appeal was launched, and the phone had been ringing “off the hook”.

People over the age of 18 can email sos@volunteeringotago.org.nz for more information or to register their interest.

Information is also on the Volunteering Otago website.

Ms de Klerk said they may look at going down again if there was still a need.