Accountant, boutique shop offer help, treats for farmers | The Big Dry

TREAT: Sara Winston-Smith of The Magic Pudding with some of the items farming women might receive from her suppliers. Photo: Gareth Gardner
TREAT: Sara Winston-Smith of The Magic Pudding with some of the items farming women might receive from her suppliers. Photo: Gareth Gardner

In hard times for many, there are people trying to soften the blow however they can.

And as the drought continues to challenge even the best on the land, two new generous proposals have popped up in Tamworth and Armidale to help make life a little more pleasant, a little more manageable.

The Magic Pudding owner Sara Winston-Smith said she’d been “inundated” after asking for nominations of hardworking women on the land to receive a hamper full of useful treats.

A visit to an annual gift fair to scope out Christmas stock for the Tamworth shop prompted the idea after talk constantly turned to drought.

“It was the first question people asked … ‘What’s it really like up there?’” she said.

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“What could I say but: ‘Bare dirt; everyone’s feeding cattle or sheep, the economy’s slowing down a bit as a result and everyone’s suffering together,” she said.

Her suppliers wondering how to help, she asked them to donate products she could pack into hampers and send out to women in the area.

The aim was “making them feel better and knowing there’s people out there that care for them”.

Smith, Sharpe & Abbott Chartered Accountants of Armidale have volunteered to help fill out farmers’ drought transport subsidy and Farm Household Allowance applications.

Senior partner Grahame Sharpe said there were five qualified people available.

He urged farmers to get in contact if they were overwhelmed by the “fairly lengthy” paperwork.

With a poll Dorset stud and 15 years as a NSW Royal Agricultural Society councillor, Mr Sharpe said he had an affinity with the land.

He said it would probably take most people about two hours to complete each form.

“They’re too busy feeding – if they can get the fodder; it will take us probably half an hour,” he said.

“We’ve already had a couple of people take us up on the offer …

“It’s not a gimmick, I just genuinely want to help if I can – no strings attached.”

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