Stop, drop and roll: Port Macquarie toilet roll drop off point established by Lifeline Mid Coast

Stop, Drop and Roll: Joan Rayward, Wendy Smith, Helen Cornhill and Lisa Willows at the Port Macquarie Central Road Lifeline Shop.
Stop, Drop and Roll: Joan Rayward, Wendy Smith, Helen Cornhill and Lisa Willows at the Port Macquarie Central Road Lifeline Shop.

A new initiative has been launched in Port Macquarie to spark some positivity and hope amid extensive disruption and concern amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lifeline Mid Coast has launched Stop, Drop and Roll, where people can donate toilet paper rolls so others in need can have access to the necessity.

Lifeline Mid Coast public relations and marketing coordinator Lisa Willows said people can drop off a single roll, or more if they can, at the Port Macquarie Central Road Lifeline Shop.

The initiative was launched on Thursday, March 19 and within the first hour, four people had come into the shop to each donate a toilet paper roll in what Lisa says displays fantastic community spirit.

"If 20 people came into the shop to donate one roll each, that's another 20 who we've helped," she said.

"We're not asking people to donate a whole packet, just one roll."

The initiative is hoped to spark some positivity amid the negative reactions and behaviours prompted by the COVID-19 scare, including people who are fighting over toilet paper and taking more than they need from the grocery stores.

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"We want to promote the themes around gratitude, the community coming together and growing hope in this desperate time," Lisa said.

"During the recent bushfire crisis, the community banded together and a number of initiatives were created out of people looking out for one another and caring for those in need. We're hoping the same thing happens here," Lisa said.

Port Macquarie Central Road Lifeline Shop store manager Helen Cornhill said she thought the initiative was a wonderful idea and it was fabulous to see the community embrace it so quickly.

She said one roll of toilet paper is not a lot to donate but it can make all the difference for people who are desperate for it.

Lisa said the initiative is indicative of reverse psychology, where amid the panic people can play a small role and relieve some stress they might be feeling by giving back to others.

Lifeline Mid Coast hopes to expand the initiative to other locations in the region, including Wauchope and Forster. It will be on trial for a week at the Port Macquarie shop.

The organisation is appealing to companies and businesses to get onboard.

For more information about the Stop, Drop and Roll campaign please visit the event's Facebook page.

Last week Lifeline Mid Coast staff hosted psychological first aid training for Lake Cathie residents to help communities which have been impacted by recent traumatic events.

Meanwhile a new group has formed on the Mid North Coast region to offer people a point of connection to others in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taree resident Heidi Fowler is the founder of the Facebook group Midcoast Self-Isolation Lend-a-Hand Network. She formed it as she wanted to the community to unite during what can be an anxious, isolating and lonely time for people.

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