8 Dec 2010

Appeal for continued support of mine families

1:20 pm on 8 December 2010

Social agencies helping families who have lost relatives in the Pike River mine disaster are asking people to keep up the messages of support, as the media spotlight on the tragedy lessons.

More than $5 million has now been donated to the mayoral relief fund to help the families of 29 workers killed during a series of explosions that began on 19 November.

The priest of the Anglican parish at Cobden-Runanga, Tim Mora, says people have been overwhelmed with gifts of food and items such as books and teddy bears.

He says the key thing now is to donate to the mayoral relief fund and send letters of support to keep the families going.

Mr Mora is a member of the trust dispersing the relief fund, which will next week meet to decide how the money will be distributed.

He says that's a huge task and an extra person with specialist skills may be needed to help.

Victim Support chief executive Tony Paine says the families are now in a phase of private mourning, but something as simple as a letter out of the blue can also make a huge difference.