AN innocent misunderstanding has led to an outpouring of kindness from the Bridgwater community.

A woman messaged the Bridgwater Matters Facebook group asking if people could help create and donate craft items to help animals injured in Australia's devastating bushfires.

The woman in question, Susan McMinn, lives in a town called Bendigo, Australia and thought she was contacting a group based in the nearby town of Bridgewater, Australia.

Despite the confusion the people of Bridgwater, Somerset, moved by the appeal, have rallied into action.

A list has been posted of items wanted for the Wildlife Crafting Bee, along with instructions of how to put them together, including 'Joey pouches', 'bird nests' and 'animal beds'.

There is a link on the Bridgwater Matters Facebook page to the UK Crafters for Australia Animal Rescue Effort which has more than 17,000 members.

A collection point has been set up at the new Artisan Centre Somerset based in Queenswood Road, Bridgwater for people who want to create and donate, with a view to the items being posted to Australia.

Mrs McMinn, who runs an art gallery, said: "I sent the link to the Wildlife Crafting Bee to Bridgwater Matters and initially it was declined.

"It was only when I looked at the posts on the page I realised that this Bridgwater was not located in Australia!" Susan said.

"I hadn't noticed the Somerset Bridgwater does not have an 'e'.

"After some discussion with the admin of the group, I was told some people in Bridgwater might be interested in helping out.

"I was thrilled to see it gain some momentum, the response has been overwhelming."

The catastrophic wildfires have seen more than 12 million acres of land engulfed in fire, and an estimated half a billion animals have died.

Mrs McMinn said: "As far as the bushfires go we are currently safe in this part of Victoria.

"There has been a lot of smoke around, but there is a general feeling of concern and helplessness.

"This Crafting Bee is a way of getting the community together to help in what way we can."

Tracy Gulacsi, who runs the Artisan Centre Somerset, said she would be happy to collect donated items and pass them on to the organisers of the appeal.

She will also be running a special craft session at the Artisan Centre on Saturday (January 11) between 10am and 4pm where people can come and create items.

"The items involve some crochet, knitting and sewing so we'll be on hand to help and supply tea and biscuits too," Mrs Gulacsi said.

"We have already had three items donated, and I know there are many more in the pipeline," Mrs Gulacsi said on Wednesday.