Residents in Broadford have been putting teddy bears in their windows to lift moods and keep children busy on 'bear hunts' as they walk or drive around the neighbourhood.

By Evelyn Leckie

BROADFORD resident Peter Gannon is calling on businesses to put their hand up and help isolated residents.

Mr Gannon said towns like Broadford, Pyalong and Wandong were struggling due to a lower amount of supermarket options and food businesses closing their doors.

“The older people out here in Broadford are scared,” Mr Gannon said.

“We had busloads of Melbournians taking everything from our IGA, with no food left for locals.

“Food businesses are closing their doors and although food deliveries from Melbourne are reaching up to Wallan and Kilmore, there seems to be a brick wall after Kilmore.”

Mr Gannon started the Broadford Hands Up Facebook page to help residents connect to businesses who could deliver food to the area.

“The idea of the page is to put your hands up if you need help, or put your hands up if you’re a business that can help,” he said.

Mr Gannon said the idea was to get people prepared and connected before further restrictions were put in place.

“It’s getting more difficult, I had a group of volunteers who were in the older age bracket, they were originally dropping food and supplies off to residents, but now it’s becoming more risky for them to be out.”

The page allows businesses to say they’re doing deliveries and to keep spreading positive news.

Community members have spread positive messages through the page as well, including activities for Broadford children.

Sarah Bermingham shared an idea for residents to put teddy bears in their windows for children to go on a ‘bear hunt,’ while on walks or car rides.

The idea quickly took off with Broadford residents placing stuffed bears on their front porch and windows.

“It’s an idea I saw on another page, and thought it was a beautiful way to help lift the mood,” Ms Bermingham said.

“It can help keep the kids busy and teach them to spread kindness, not the virus.

“I have three young daughters and they loved the idea and are looking forward to going for a walk or drive.”

Mr Gannon said the Broadford Hands Up Facebook page allowed people who were able and healthy, to help those in need.

“If this page connects people who need a helping hand and spreads positivity, that’s good enough for me,” he said.