There is a new campaign in the Illawarra all about encouraging mate helping mate.
The 'Mateship is Contagious' Facebook group for people to place positive posts started when Flagstaff Fine Foods was struggling to meet a 40 per cent increase in demand for their meals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive manager Dan Burns realised addressing the supply shortage could lead to the re-employment of some staff stood-down due to the temporary closure of Wests Illawarra.
So he reached out to mate and fellow Leadership Illawarra Program (LIP) cohort member and Aster Group food beverage executive Yianni Barthelmess.
Working together they re-employed five Wests Illawarra kitchen team members who, along with the Flagstaff team, produce between 2000 and 3000 meals each night shift for Meals on Wheels and aged care providers.
Sous chef Tristan Read said it is great to get back in the kitchen and use his skills for such good. And will be able to apply what he has learned about workflow, organisation and communication back at Wests when it re-opens.
Inspiration from the act of mateship inspired LIP to launch the Mateship is Contagious social media campaign to boost the spirit of mateship in the community.
RDA Illawarra chief executive Debra Murphy said LIP involves emerging leaders who have been challenged professionally and personally during COVID-19 but have galvanised together to support each and desomstate true mateship in action.
LIP members want the community to join the Mateship is Contagious Facebook group and share stories like the one involving Mr Burns and Mr Barthelmess.
Campaign champion Julia Frith said it was a great platform to share stories of mateship and match those in need with 'mates' in the community with the right skills and connections to make a difference.
Ms Frith said with this ANZAC Day set to be like no other, the LIP cohort is calling on the community to demonstrate the spirit of mateship.
"By following the lead of our ANZACS we can show how the Illawarra pulls together in our hour of need," she said.
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