A ten year dream for the Barellan Aged Care Support Group has become reality with the official opening of new rental accommodation in the town on Friday.
In blazing sunshine Barellan residents and visitors alike watched on as the final three units of five were officially opened by Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.
Secretary of the Barellan Aged Care Support Group and MC Sandra Vicary spoke emotionally of the effort that had gone into to creating this accommodation to those gathered.
Fighting back tears of joy Ms Vicary spoke of the importance of the occasion and the accommodation to the Barellan community and thanked everyone who had a hand, in the process whether it was fundraising, grant funding or the design and construction.
Prior to the opening Ms Vicary said, “I think it’s fair to say that the community was not entirely sure we would get this far but once units 22 and 24 around the corner were finalised, the community could see our dream come alive.
“I think it’s extremely important for people in their autumn years to be given the opportunity to rent in Barellan. It’s wonderful the level of support we have been given by the community.”
Ms Vicary a former community nurse in Barellan for 14 years, commented that even those who had departed this life over the past ten years had a hand in raising funds in a roundabout way.
“The Barellan community knows how much work our committee has done to raise funds, if there has been a show or an event of some sort, we have been there. Everyone that has passed in Barellan over the past ten years has had a wake that we have catered for.
“The funds from all those events, both happy and sad, have resulted in a wonderful addition to our wonderful town,” she said.
The first two residents to move into their rental units Ms Pat Castle and Mr Joseph Nagle were delighted with their new homes.
“Everyone needs a roof over their head. It will be wonderful to be able to enjoy all the modern luxuries of these units, I even have space to work on my music, “ Mr Nagle said.
The rental properties are available to people 55 and over who are either residents of Barellan or have immediate family living in Barellan.
Their construction was supported by a $351,150 Stronger Country Communities Fund grant. All five units have been specially designed to meet tenants’ needs and their practical design was lauded by Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.
“It’s been fantastic to come to Barellan and hand over the keys for these new two-bedroom units, which have been specially designed by an architect with experience in the needs of aged care residents,” Ms Cooke said. “I am sure these new homes will be much loved and I hope there will be plenty of happy memories created here.”
“These units have bathrooms which are set up for aged or disabled tenants, including wheelchair users, and the units allow an ambulance stretcher to gain access inside.
“There are plenty of cupboards which are easily accessible and close to the ground, while power switches are large to make them easier to use.
“The Barellan Aged Care Support does a fantastic job of making sure that members of the Barellan community who have specific needs are able to remain near families and friends instead of moving away,” Ms Cooke said. “Their hard work is helping make sure this community stays together and stays strong.”