AN ORGANISATION in Weymouth and Portland is appealing for people to help its fundraising efforts in aid of those suffering in the aftermath of the devastating Australian bushfires.

All Lions Clubs in the UK have launched an appeal to support the victims of the natural disaster and have already donated more than £130,000. Weymouth and Portland Lions Club has so far raised £200 and is calling for local residents to back the campaign.

Cllr Kevin Brookes, a member of the group, said: "There are Lions Clubs in Australia and lots of people in the UK and Weymouth especially have relatives and friends over in Australia.

"We have donated £200 and we just thought it would be a good opportunity for anyone else in the area to add to our £200 because we would like to send more."

The money will go directly to local Lions Clubs in the affected area in Australia and they can make the decision what is needed, as this may vary in different areas.

It is estimated that about 10 million hectares have been burned across the country and at least 28 people have died this bushfire season.

Although there has been some recent rainfall, officials warn high temperatures could return at anytime over the next two months - and with that, the risk of fire.

Cllr Brookes added: "We feel for them really. Although they are no strangers to these fires because they get them every year I think that the scale of it this year is unprecedented and the amount of wildlife that has been killed has been staggering."

If you would like to take part in this appeal and add to the club's donation of £200, please make cheques payable to “Weymouth & Portland Lions Club” and write 'Australian bushfire appeal' on the back of the cheque or contact the Lions treasurer in Weymouth on 07971 441214 and discuss how you can help with the appeal. Please post cheques to: Weymouth & Portland Lions Club, C/O Hotel Rembrandt, 12 -18 Dorchester Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 7JU.