Help sought to fund Life Education
LONG-SERVING former Tweed mayor Max Boyd has pleaded with Tweed Shire Council to financially support a local Life Education Unit aimed at warning young school children how drugs adversely affect their bodies.
Mr Boyd was back in the council chambers last week seeking support for the local unit which he revealed faces an uncertain future because the state-wide Life Education team is struggling to finance it.
The local van, which visits schools, was the world's first Life Education Unit when it was established under Mr Boyd's watch as shire president in 1981, but he told councillors it needed local and council support to keep going.
It was established after an address to a Banana Festival dinner by the Reverend Ted Noffs of the Wayside Chapel in Sydney prompted a suggestion that the Tweed could have a local, mobile unit visiting schools.
Rotary clubs and a variety of other groups have already thrown their weight behind the new push to support the unit with donations.
“We've got to raise about $30,000 a year to make up the shortfall to ensure nearly 5600 children go through it each year,” Mr Boyd said.
“The van goes from school to school.”
Mr Boyd said the unit had been highly successful when first established with local support, but when its range was broadened to include the Richmond Valley as well as the Tweed “it all fell apart because people got sick of travelling to meetings at night” organising funds.
It was taken over by the state-wide organisation which Mr Boyd said could not continue to fund the shortfall.
“They do get some support from the NSW government, but not enough,” Mr Boyd said.
“The council used to put in $1500 a year for many, many years.
"I've asked them to put $7000 in the budget as a contribution.”
Mr Boyd said other support so far included $5000 from Kingscliff Lions, $5000 from the Seaside Shelter, $3300 from Southern Cross Credit Union, $1000 from Murwillumbah Quota Club, $1000 and more promised from Murwillumbah Rotary, $500 from Mt Warning Am Rotary and $100 from Tweed Heads Quota Club.
“The concept of educating children at an early age about the harmful effects of drugs on their bodies is a positive and powerful tool in helping to reduce the horrific human consequences of drug abuse,” Mr Boyd said.