A MALTON building society has launched a collection point for people who want to donate to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

The fund has been set up to support the emergency crews in the wake of the devastation caused by the Australian bushfires, which has seen more than 2,100 homes destroyed, 27 people killed and over a billion animals killed.

More than 100 bushfires continue to burn across the country, with a total of 18 million acres of land already consumed buy the flames.

The charity’s aim is to give those affected by disaster, much-needed support.

This can vary from providing a safe place to take shelter, psychological first aid, information and practical support through the time it takes to recover.

The fund also covers the costs of training its volunteers, vital equipment and transport.

David Cutter, group chief executive at Skipton, said: “It is astonishing to see the devastation that is being caused by the outbreak of bushfires across Australia.

“Here at Skipton our people and customers tell us they want to try and help and though we cannot physically donate our time in the efforts in Australia, we can provide a place for anyone who would like to give some money to the Australian Red Cross relief fund.”

David added: “For anyone who would like to make a donation to support the amazing work that is carried out by the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund, they can do so over the phone, online or in one of our branches.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to everyone affected by the devastating fires and their families.”

People can now donate money in any of the society’s branches across the UK, including the Skipton in Wheelgate, Malton, by phoning the society’s Skipton Direct team on 0345 850 1722 or online at skipton.co.uk