PENOLA residents are staying connected and maintaining community spirit and connections through the Penola Community Needs social media group.
Attracting more than 600 members in a week, the Facebook page has become a social hub with residents offering free fresh produce, homemade goods and appreciative posts for those who continue to work through the COVID-19 crisis.
Page administrator Sharon Ross initially started the group to keep community members connected during self-isolation.
“I started the group to try and keep the community together because a lot of people are scared at the moment,” Ms Ross said.
“I thought if we can start a group that would bring everyone together and use it as a platform to get us through this, it would be wonderful because we are all in the same boat and we are all in this together.”
Originally the peer-run resource included Ms Ross’ group of friends, but quickly expanded to include former residents of Penola.
“There were a lot of people out there that were really struggling due to losing their jobs,” she said.
“Because this community is so tight, I thought I would create one platform where we could all come together and help.
“There are also a lot of positive posts on it too which would just brighten people’s day.”
Ms Ross said the response had been overwhelmingly positive and she had received a number of messages congratulating her on the initiative.
“We do try and keep the posts local and as positive as we can and it is just one of those things that has really just taken off,” she said.
“It has also been a good pick me up for those who are still working, when they come home they might just have a look at the page and crack a smile from some of the posts.
“Because Penola is such a small town it also allows us to just talk about something good and positive and I think that is pretty great.”