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Corrections staff and inmates bring Christmas to farmers

Published date: Friday 12 October 2018

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Prison officers and inmates from Central West NSW are behind an initiative to donate and deliver Christmas presents and school packs containing art books, calculators and lunch boxes to children of drought-stricken farmers.

Bathurst Governor Mark Kennedy said the festive initiative saw officers from the Bathurst and Kirkconnell Correctional Centres teaming up with Burrumbuttock Hay Runners charity group.

“Due to the current hay shortage, a hay run before Christmas was unlikely, so together we brainstormed ways we could still offer support,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Charity founder Brendan Farrell came up with the idea of focusing efforts on the children and from there the idea came to provide Christmas gifts and school items, to bring a smile to the kids and providing financial relief to families.”

Inmates from the Community Project Teams will assist by packing the donated items that will be stored in three shipping containers donated by local Bathurst business, Dawson’s Removalist.

Bathurst Correctional Centre’s Katherine Ryan, who is behind the initiative, said it has been wonderful to see the community support the cause.

“We have had such a great response already and are very proud of the staff and inmates,” Ms Ryan said.

“As a regional town it’s important that we give back in whatever way we can to the farmers who have provided for us over many years.

“Christmas is hard enough on many families as it is, and even more so for those affected by drought.

“This is our small way of saying thanks to the farmers for everything they have done, that they aren’t forgotten, and hopefully brings smiles and joy to families this Christmas.”

Burrumbuttock Hay Runners is a group that transports donated hay to drought affected farmers in Australia, with the motto of ‘keeping the dream alive’ for farmers.