Rest centre lives again thanks to Fusion

CRUCIAL SERVICE: Reverend Andrew Cunningham, councillor Neil Jones and Bev and Mal Rankin. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0216jkfusion1

CRUCIAL SERVICE: Reverend Andrew Cunningham, councillor Neil Jones and Bev and Mal Rankin. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0216jkfusion1

SEVEN months after the Orange Rest Centre closed its doors, Fusion has started its own community centre.

The centre, located next to the Uniting Church at 217 Anson Street, officially launched on Thursday afternoon with about 50 people in attendance.

Community development co-ordinator Bev Rankin said it was the culmination of strong monetary donations and hours of volunteer work to refurbish the kitchen.

“The rest centre [at Orange City Centre] provided an important place of social connecting, especially for people who lived out of town and relied on public transport,” she said.

“It provided a space that was warm, it was accessible and it had refreshments so if they were waiting for buses or catching up with friends, there was somewhere safe to do that, especially in winter.”

She said extra volunteers have been brought on board to staff it and a donation from Orange City Council had purchased lockers.

“It means if they’re shopping and need to rush off to see the doctor, there’s a place they can store their belongings temporarily,” she said.

Fusion started in Orange in 1989 as a youth and community organisation, operating youth groups, playgroups and the annual Robertson Park Easter festival.

The centre is open to all members of the community on weekdays, except for Wednesdays, from 10am-3pm and offers $1 tea and coffee and $2 toasted sandwiches.

Donations welcome.

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