THE future of the Cootes Community Access Centre in Glenroi has been secured thanks to a new arrangement where CareWest will take over the management.
Housing NSW will enter into a three year peppercorn lease with Orange City Council, which will make the building available to Carewest to operate community activities on the site with operational costs and maintenance funded by Housing NSW.
CareWest community engagement manager Lesa Dunn said the centre had been closed since June last year when Housing NSW’s Building Stronger Communities (BSC) program ended.
“Even since then a group has tried to get it reopened,” she said.
The only activities at the centre at present are a playgroup that has met on Tuesdays for the past 10 years and a community garden, but CareWest chief executive officer Tim Curran said there are plans to offer more services and employ a part-time co-ordinator now they have the green light.
“It’s just a safe place where people can drop-in,” he said.
“It’s a really important meeting place within the community.”
He said there were opportunities for education and community health programs, with support from groups such as the Orange Aboriginal Health Service as well as future grants.
“CareWest works with the community in Glenroi,” he said.
“We’ve been focused on the preschool from the school so we’ve been very aware of the needs of the community.”
He said the Glenroi community was changing shape with housing redevelopments.
Ms Dunn said CareWest will have a public meeting with Glenroi residents to find out what they want from the centre.
“We will sit down as a community group and work out what we can commit to with volunteers,” she said.
“We’ll find out what the needs and wants are with a group of committee partners from the state, federal, local government and NGOs (non government organisations).”