LONG days at the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly feature heavily in the childhood memories of Orange man James Kemp.
When he was just seven years old he was part of the Royal Far West program that sent country kids to receive medical treatment at the northern beaches suburb.
“I was starting to go deaf and they put a shunt in my ear,” he said.
That first visit for Mr Kemp was one of many he made to Manly for treatment and check ups over the years.
Days were filled with trips to the beach, games and adventures that allowed children to have fun while they were receiving treatment.
It is a group that has made a difference in young people’s lives when they need it most according to Orange branch president Beryle Conran.
“With a lot of kids from the west it’s the only time they’ll ever get to the city beaches,” she said.
The group has helped countless children over the years and now they need the help of the Orange community to continue their work.
Mrs Conran said they desperately needed new volunteers to continue their fundraising work to help other children get to Sydney for treatment.
For many country families the Royal Far West program allows their child to receive treatment in Sydney and a welcome break for the child and parent.
“They can’t afford to send their kids, they can’t afford to get treatment,” she said.
The program is free for children to be part of with parents paying a nominal fee to come and stay with their child during treatment.
Mrs Conran said 30 to 40 Orange children are helped each year.
To find out more about becoming a Royal Far West volunteer head to their next meeting at the Ophir Tavern on Tuesday, October 9, at 3pm.
If you are unable to attend contact Beryle Conran on 6361 8807, Chris Kemp on 6362 2270 or Florence Gleeson on 6362 8500