A HOUSE dedicated to housing families facing cancer battles is expected to be opened in October following a $10,000 state government grant.
Lionel and Joan Smith House in Booth Crescent, named after its former owners, will undergo $80,000-worth of renovations, including a fresh coat of paint, landscaping, outdoor seating area, disabled access and a backyard playground before it is opened.
Mrs Smith bequeathed the house to the Cancer Council two years ago after Mr Smith died from the disease and the keys were handed over last year.
Member for Orange Phil Donato presented the cheque for the Community Building Partnerships program grant on Friday.
“As important as it is to provide accommodation for families temporarily living in Orange while a loved one receives vital cancer treatment, it’s also important the house feels like a home,” he said.
Cancer Council NSW community engagement manager Ricky Puata said the two-bedroom house would function differently to Western Care Lodge, which features twin rooms.
“It will offer more than one bedroom so … [it’s] not limited to two people at the house,” he said.
“[For] families where a mother or father are going through cancer treatment, it means kids are allowed to come along and spend time with mum and dad.
“It’s probably the most important thing for those people going through treatment having children around, making sure the family unit keeps together.”
Mr Puata thanked the Smith family for the donation, saying the Cancer Council had been working closely with them on what the house would look like.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us, it will give us the chance to provide that accommodation,” he said.
The house will accommodate families from as far as Bourke, Parkes and Forbes, charging $56-$72 a night.