The Yass Red Cross was invited by Yass NRMA to place a fascinating display table in their office, showcasing the work Red Cross does today as well as the history of the local branch. It included the Branch’s certificate of honour, historical photos and information, hand-knitted teddies, and the motto “When so much needs fixing, we know where to start.”

Yass Mayor Allan McGrath said that it was nice to see the display when he visited NRMA recently, and added that he found it “interesting to note that Yass was the third branch of this great organisation to be established in NSW.”

 

NRMA Team Leader Narelle Bullman spoke about the Red Cross display, and how NRMA became partnered with the Red Cross.

 

“Red Cross has prepared a new Get Prepared app for storms etc and NRMA are supporting that app with them, so we want to celebrate the partnership”, said Narelle.

As described by the Red Cross official website, Get Prepared is ‘an easy-to-use app that empowers you to make important decisions ahead of time by completing your RediPlan. Co-created by the Australian Red Cross and NRMA Insurance, it helps you create a personal emergency plan, so you can take care of yourself, your loved ones, and what’s important to you. Using the Get Prepared app, you complete your comprehensive RediPlan which includes key contacts, meeting places, animal plans, key documents, special items, medical information and stress management plans. All your vital information, all in one emergency plan.’

 

Over a century ago, the ladies of Yass rallied under the leadership of Miss Yeo to form the first Red Cross branch in NSW outside Sydney and Newcastle. The Yass branch of the Red Cross held its official opening in the Institute’s Balcony Room in 1914, with the building and group used to raise funds for World War One soldiers as well as a hosting area for returning and injured soldiers. Miss Yeo was presented with the Red Cross’s long service medal in 1947.

The Yass Soldiers Club described the Yass Red Cross branch as local heroes: “Country Australians have always been to the fore when the bugles sound and the cry goes out for men and women to defend their country. Yass and the district are no exception. Locals have served with distinction in every conflict in which Australia has been involved.”

 

Today, country Australians continue to serve in the Red Cross undertaking a number of charitable initiatives. Currently, the Yass Red Cross is involved with providing emergency services, telechat, trauma teddies, fundraising for Red Cross appeals, and general funds.

 

Recently, Yass Red Cross held a raffle to raise funds for the Türkiye-Syria Earthquake appeal, gathering prizes through donations by Yass local businesses. The branch said they were proud to enable the Red Cross to continue humanitarian support to those in need.

 

Yass Red Cross also has a number of volunteers providing Telecross, a service where volunteers make phone calls to isolated and elderly people to check on their wellbeing. They invite community members to contact them if they know anyone who would like to receive these calls. Similarly, the Yass Red Cross also runs mental health programs and check-ins for members, as described by Narelle from NRMA.

 

“For people that have mental health problems, they do check-ins, members just ring them in the morning and have a chat if they need to talk, they’re there for them, it’s just another thing that Red Cross here is doing”

 

Trauma Teddies are yet another undertaking that dedicated Yass Red Cross Volunteers participate in. The loving hand-knitted teddy bears provide care throughout various situations for children, including comforting children fleeing the Summer Bushfires, giving a warm welcome to refugee children, providing company in a speeding ambulance and friendly security in hospital, and a happy face in a lonely time. The teddies are available at the NRMA display, with instructions included on how to knit them with descriptors of their use/purpose.

NRMA Yass Celebrates Red Cross History & Launch of Red Cross GET PREPARED app

According to the Red Cross, over 1 million children have cuddled a colourful, comforting Trauma Teddy since Australian volunteers including the Yass Branch first started hand-knitting them back in 1990.

 

Yass Red Cross is currently headed by President Cath Williams and meets on the 4th Thursday of every month at the Golf Club. The organisation has many different roles and opportunities available for those looking to donate their time and effort, as well as various appeals and fundraising causes for those looking to donate money, clothes, or other goods needed by those facing disaster.

 

The Red Cross display is available for viewing at Yass NRMA, with information, Trauma teddies and volunteer paperwork available. NRMA Insurance Consultant Nicole Hardy assures the display will be available for the coming months.

 

“The Red Cross will have the display here for a couple of months, they’ve got some membership application forms so if anyone would like to inquire or help out with Red Cross they can certainly just fill it out and join”, said Nicole.

 

 Griffin Palen