Torches and radios for each resident

Barkers of Baldina Cottage Homes manager John Arthur receives a Certificate of Appreciation from AGL.
Barkers of Baldina Cottage Homes manager John Arthur receives a Certificate of Appreciation from AGL.

Residents at the Barkers of Baldina Cottage Homes in Burra now have access to a radio and torch during blackouts thanks to the hard work of Manager John Arthur.

During the infamous September blackout which plunged South Australia into darkness in 2016, communication proved difficult for the residents of the Cottages due to landlines being down.

Mr Arthur found that he was only able to communicate with those who had access to mobile phones.

Only four residents had one.

This meant that the residents were unable to receive updates regarding the situation and when they could expect power to be restored.

Mr Arthur said that at the time he was “very concerned” for the residents well being and how they were coping with the power outage.

As a result, Mr Arthur approached the Barkers of Baldina Cottage Homes board about ways to ensure that residents would not suffer through an incident like this in the future.

What resulted was the creation of an Emergency Pack which included an LED torch and battery transistor radio.

Each resident at the Cottage Homes will now have access to these items so they can stay update to date during a power outage.

Mr Arthur said the packs would be a great asset for the residents.

“The benefits with this are very important for the well being and care for all the residents,” he said.

The products were purchased at Parky’s Thrifty-Link Hardware store in Burra who gave the Homes a good price.

Mr Arthur applied for funding through the AGL Hallett Wind Farm to help purchase the torches, while the Burra Men’s Shed also donated money for the radios.

He said it was great to see the community show their support for the initiative.

Raelene Green of the Red Cross was also extended an invitation to travel out to the Homes in December and help the residents write their own Rediplan to ensure their safety.

Mrs Green said the radios would allow the residents to be prepared during a blackout.

“Loneliness is a problem and this emergency pack was great initiative for all the aged residents,” she said, “now they can listen to the ABC to hear what is happening and whether their Rediplan needs to be activated.”

The packs were presented to the residents on December 11.