Taskforce secures co-ordinator
Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce leaders have welcomed a funding boost that will allow the not-for-profit organisation to employ a co-ordinator for another year.
Sally Pymer will remain in the role, two days a week.
Mrs Pymer said the taskforce would focus on revising its KIP, Knowledge Is Power, program in the next 12 months.
The drug-education program is for primary school students in grades five and six.
“We received a Local Drug Action Team grant of $21,000 to revise the program, create a training package and be able to train facilitators in other areas to be able to run the sessions,” Mrs Pymer said. The taskforce does not receive government funding and relies solely on donations from organisations and interested community members.
“This places pressure on taskforce members to continually knock on doors and seek funding to continue,” Mrs Pymer said.
“Although the WDAT was successful in receiving funding from organisations in 2016, there was no guarantee it would be able to again in 2017.
“With organisations under increasing financial pressure there was risk the taskforce would be without a co-ordinator, which would have severely limited the work we could do.”
Mrs Pymer said it was great to see Wimmera organisations seeing the value of the taskforce’s work and supporting it financially.
Grampians Community Health, Wimmera Uniting Care, Wimmera Health Care Group, Horsham Sports and Community Club, Hillross and Meritum have provided funding for the co-ordinator’s position.
Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce comprises representatives of Wimmera agencies and community members who work together to reduce harms caused by alcohol and other drugs in the community, through education, prevention and early intervention strategies.
Work since 2010 has included activities such as crystal methamphetamine forums, media articles, advocating for real-time prescription monitoring and the KIP program.