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Laidley church supports flood recovery

Gail Taylor at the drop-in centre. Photo by Matt Gees
THE LOCKYER Valley town of Laidley was one of many communities across Queensland hit by the January floods.

But amidst the rebuilding and emotions that the town’s people are still experiencing, the local Uniting Church has resolved to help the community by opening a drop-in centre.

The idea stemmed from a post-flood seminar in Gatton that looked at the stages of grief following a disaster.

Laidley Uniting Church’s Graham Welden and drop-in centre coordinator Gail Taylor run the shopfront (aptly named Bouncing Back) every Friday, along with helpers from other churches in the town.

“The floods have had a big impact on this town,” said Ms Taylor.

“The water came very fast and brought with it a large amount of mud that got into the shops and walls making it really
hard to clean.”

She said some shops in the main street have only recently re-opened, whilst others may not even attempt to.

The Uniting Church set up a stall in the Laidley Mall where Mr Welden tells people about the drop-in centre, while volunteers make the place feel as homely as possible.

“Sometimes people need someone to talk to, sometimes they need counselling or other professional assistance and that’s when we can refer them” said Ms Taylor.

She said Lifeline helped train volunteers and the Salvos had also been helpful.

“We’re not just here for flood victims.

We’re building relationships, providing community information and loving people as Christ loves us,” she said.

“Wherever this takes us, we’re open to whatever God wants this place to be.”

Photo : Gail Taylor at the drop-in centre. Photo by Matt Gees