Rural Aid's Farm Rescue is in Murrurundi from May 5 to 11

FARM RESCUE: Some of the team that were part of charity Rural Aid's Farm Rescue program in 2018.
FARM RESCUE: Some of the team that were part of charity Rural Aid's Farm Rescue program in 2018.

Seventy volunteers are gearing up for one of the biggest roles of their lives.

They'll be bringing hope - and joy, to a drought-stricken Upper Hunter town next month in a bid to bolster community spirits and remind residents that people are thinking of them.

While recent rain in the Lower Hunter has created a veil of green, the Upper Hunter has largely missed out on the deluge it needs to help farmers find their feet.

Farmers and town businesses are now preparing for another tough winter season, so charity Rural Aid and its Farm Rescue program are gearing up to converge on Murrurindi.

The town is one of the worst hit communities in the Upper Hunter. It doesn't have access to a town water supply and has been suffering from water shortages.

Rural Aid and its volunteers will complete nine community projects in the town between May 5 and 11, and help out on five nearby farms.

Murrurundi, Blandford, Quirindi, Willow Tree and Wallabadah schools will also receive help from the charity's Gift of Music program, which supplies musical instruments to rural schools, and given other surprises.

The charity will focus on buying supplies in the town, which will help boost the local economy.

The Australian Army Band will also be involved. It will visit the schools and play at the White Hart Hotel on May 6.

We're coming to give the town a hug, we really want them to know that people care about them,

Rural Aid general manager Wayne Thomson
FARM RESCUE: Some of the team that were part of charity Rural Aid's Farm Rescue program in 2018.

FARM RESCUE: Some of the team that were part of charity Rural Aid's Farm Rescue program in 2018.

"It's not just about giving money, it's about physical help and and showing the people in the community - not just the farmers but the business community as well, that we are here for them.

"We want to make sure that we can spend as much money in town while we are there as we can. Rather than bringing things in we want to by everything locally, where we can, and support the local businesses."

This is the second time the charity had staged a Farm Rescue that focuses on an entire community.

Mr Thomson said the charity decided to expand its Farm Rescue program - which saw volunteers help one farm over a week, in December and held the first one in Victoria in March.

He said the charity had been working in the Hunter for more than a year and it was evident the Murrurundi community needed more support.

"We'll be delivering hay with Buy A Bale, delivering water and all of the other things we offer," he said.

"We had the first one in Victoria last month that looked at a whole community, up until then we would drop in on a farm with our Farm Army and stay there for a week to help with jobs like fencing.

We had the Australian Army Band with us as well, and we had our Gift of Music program where we help out rural schools with instruments and stationary and Lego and iPads. We are looking to do these same things in Murrurundi.

The volunteers will camp at the Murrurundi Rosedale Complex during their stay and community groups will be paid to feed them each night. The initiative will conclude with a Thank You dinner for everyone involved on Friday, May 10 at the Rosedale Horse Complex.

Rural Aid is working with Upper Hunter Shire Council to finalise the list of community projects.

This story It's time to give a drought-stricken town a big hug first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.

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