An Adelong "refugee" who has been in Cootamundra since his town was evacuated last week has come up with an idea which could be of practical help to people in fire-affected areas.
Frank Basten has been "overwhelmed" with the generosity of people in Coota in helping he and his wife Lindy with accommodation.
Mrs Basten, a nurse at the aged care facility at Batlow, has been in Cootamundra looking after 13 women who were evacuated from Batlow to Cootamundra Hospital.
While the emergency in Adelong has now passed, Mr Basten will stay as long as his wife does - so when he heard of some people in Batlow who had lost everything, he offered his home as temporary accommodation for as long as they needed.
"I heard about them through my neighbour, but when I offered accommodation he said their real interest would be getting a caravan so they could start the task of rebuilding.
"I saw the sense of that, and it got me thinking that the best recovery therapy is for people to be at their property, doing what they have been doing before, making it their home.
"This is where my thinking of caravans entered the picture: I surmised there might be a few people in Cootamundra who have an old caravan around their home, doing nothing, still suitable to live in, with a bit of a lick and a promise, which they might be willing to gift to victims of the fire, so that they have a solid roof over their head, a place to cook and eat, and a place to sleep.
"Alternatively there might be others who would like to lend their caravan for a year or two while a victim is rebuilding, organised under a signed agreement.
"In essence, I am proposing an 'Adopt a Family', whereby owners and victims deal with each other directly - perhaps the beginning of a new lifelong relationship; an extended family.
"In years to come, you might see this as the best place you ever took your box on wheels - one that gave you more joy than any other adventure you had with it."
Further information on "compassionate caravans" can be obtained through the Herald on 0448 995 132.
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