'While a lot has been achieved there is still work to do'
LISMORE residents are urged to continue their volunteering efforts as many return to the daily grind more than a week after the March 31 floods.
It only takes a trip into South Lismore and other severely flood-affected areas to realise normality is out of reach for many residents as they continue cleaning up.
One of the founders of the Lismore Helping Hands initiative, Maddy Braddon coordinates volunteers at their hub at the Lismore Railway Station building.
She encouraged the community to contribute their time where possible to the city's recovery.
"As the weeks go on, we don't want the excitement of helping people to fade," Ms Braddon said.
"While a lot has been achieved there is still work to do."
On average, Ms Braddon said 30 teams of about five volunteers are dispatched around the city daily to clean up as well as deliver food and other essential goods to those in need.
She said cleaning out affected houses can take most of the day and emphasised the need for more volunteers.
Since it established about a week ago, the hub has become the nucleus of Lismore's relief effort from coordinating volunteers to providing important information and referrals to flood-affected residents.
Ms Braddon said more than 1000 people have come through the doors and close to 800 have registered as volunteers.
About 400 need requests have been lodged on the initiative's corresponding website, Lismore Recovers.
Of that number, Ms Braddon said volunteers have responded to half of those requests.
Non-perishable food items and cleaning goods are the only donations the hub are accepting at this stage.
Ms Braddon said the founding group and others are looking at ways to entrench the grass-roots recovery model into a permanent recovery network for natural disasters.
"We would love to see something like this ready to hit the ground running for next time," she said.