Can collection project doing good things for local health

CSA’s Rob Collingridge (left) and Chris Hamilton (right) were thrilled to hand over the funds to purchase a portable oxygen concentrator to Cobar Community Health coordinator Abbi Josephson (centre).

A local project to recycle cans and bottles is not only helping to save the environment, it’s also going a step further and helping sick people in our community.

Over the past year Rob Collingridge has been collecting ‘for a cause’ and last month he reached his target of $5,700 to purchase a portable oxygen concentrator for the Cobar Community Health centre.

The portable oxygen concentrator ‘breathing machine’ will allow patients with lung disease to travel to vital medical appointments.

It will also assist with end of life treatment, giving patients the opportunity to leave the house for last wishes, eg attending church or family functions.

Rob said he and his fiancé Rachael Slinger (the community midwife and women’s health nurse at Cobar Community Health) were warmly welcomed and supported when they first moved to Cobar in 2017.

Rob and Rachael were keen to do something to for their new community and, after Rob heard a talk by former Cobar resident Brett Robinson, he was inspired to give back.

“The idea of recycling for a good cause came up,” Rob told The Cobar Weekly.

He and Rachael put the idea to Community Health coordinator Abbi Josephson to see if there was anything they needed at the centre.

“Initially we started at home, then the hospital/community health also started collecting but I wanted to go bigger!” Rob said.

“So I pitched my idea to Chris Hamilton, the Production Manager at CSA, where I work.

“Chris was 100 per cent supportive of it, so I started recycling all cans and bottles throughout the underground mine. Soon it spread to the surface with great support from the Mill and the Workshop social club. As word has spread, it has snowballed,” Rob said.

He said the Cobar Miner’s Village, Grand Hotel, Sundara Massage, Rose Isle Station and many friends are also helping him to recycle for his ‘Cobar Community Can’ cause.

“Cindy at the Empire helped us out with the Return and Earn.”

Gary McWaters has also helped with transporting thousands of cans/bottles.

“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Rob said.

“We have collected 31,858 items and are still going.”

He said friends, work colleagues and even strangers were keen to help when they heard about what he was doing.

Along with recycling Rob received some cash donations to help reach his target from Norm McLeod and family, Charlie Wilson, the CSA Workshop/Mill social club and even a group of Victorian farmers that Rob had met on St Patrick’s Day.

“We have reached our goal but are continuing our cause, with new goals on the horizon,” Rob said.

Rob said Scott Purdie from the CSA Mine has also pledged to help with fundraising for more items of medical equipment to help the community.

Rob’s keen to hear from anyone in the community who’d like to join in the ‘Cobar Community Can’ cause.