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Wellington locals part of convoy that delivered hay to north-coast

A group of local men recently were a part of a convoy to deliver much needed fodder to those affected by fires on the north-coast.

The initiative all started after Wellington builder Chris Redfern reached out to Need for Feed, a project of the Pakenham Lions Club in Victoria.

It was while on a work break that Mr Redfern came across Need for Feed's call out for hay drive volunteers.

Mr Redfern was immediately keen to help so asked if anyone else within the community was interested in volunteering their time.

It didn't take long for the local builder to be inundated with support.

Going with him on the trip up the north-coast was Bernie Woldhuis and Calvis Campion; both professional drivers who supplied their own truck.

Farmers Matthew Whale, Dave Whillock and Steve Deutscher both drove their own trucks.

Builder Henry Redfern drove his own truck.

Diesel mechanic Bart Redfern volunteered his services to keep the convoy rolling.

Nick Redfern was named the expert strap installer and joke teller.

Farmer Ben O'Brien provided a prime mover and three trailers.

"More than half of these guys are local farmers who have been feeding their own animals for 18 months to two years," Mr Redfern said.

"It's a bloody big thing for them.... they had to organise people for them to feed their own animals, they provided the trucks, they drove them, it's not as easy as just hopping online... it's a fair effort."

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In total 16 trucks, averaging approximately 18 to 20 tonnes of hay, drove 2800 kilometres over four days.

They picked up the hay in northern Victoria, while another load was picked up in Albury.

The convoy travelled along the Hume Highway, through Sydney until they reaching their destination in Macksville.

The local Lions Club took delivery of the hay, which they then distributed to the fire victims.

"Everyone up the north coast was very appreciate of what happened for them, that's for sure," Mr Redfern said

This was Mr Redfern's first ever volunteer hay run and he said it was "a good feeling to be able to help someone out."

Everyone up the north coast was very appreciate of what happened for them, that's for sure.

Chris Redfern

"It restores your faith humanity in a lot of ways. You see a lot of people give, and they give a lot, and there's people who are in desperate need," he explained.

Being with the other local drivers on the trip was also something Mr Redfern was pleased to be a part of.

"It was a great thing to just be able to sit down and have a yarn with them about how their feeling about things too," he said.

"The hay is probably a source, but I reckon mental health is the real issue. We started off a little hesitant but by the end of the weekend everyone was talking pretty freely about what was bothering them and what their issues were."

Mr Redfern said all of the local men who took part in the hay run with him were very generous people.

"These guys gave up a fair bit of time, money and expenses to do it... they were really keen to contribute, which is pretty much a Wellington thing," he said.