Rough winds and much-needed rain were a well-timed test for the Linking Together Centre’s newly refurbished homework centre when it was officially reopened to the public last Friday.
A $37,464 grant from the NSW Social Housing Community Infrastructure Fund allowed the centre to upgrade the building.
Improvements include replacing outdated air conditioners with reverse cycle systems, installing security lights and repairing holes in the walls.
“We ripped out old benchtops and old carpet, put in new kitchen and new cupboards and storage, new benchtops for the computers. It’s really good,” Linking Together Centre Program Manager Luke Thom said.
“It’s made the space much more functional for the kids to use for the homework centre now, and we also use it for the breakfast club as well because it’s a nice warm space during winter with the new air conditioners.”
New carpet and linoleum cover the floor, and the centre hopes to extend wifi to the building to compliment a smart board which will be installed.
“It’s a great space now,” Mr Thom said.
Bronwyn Campbell is a familiar figure at the Homework Centre, and offers assistance to local children each Monday and Wednesday.
She was pleased with the renovations, which she felt made the building safer and warmer. The children often visit when they have no homework to complete, and try out craft activities instead.
“It is a good space for them where they can just come and relax and spend some time with their friends,” she said.
She said her partner in crime, Aunty Ruth, was an invaluable part of the centre. She said as an ex-teacher, Aunty Ruth is an effective tutor, and well respected by the students.
“Education is the key. They need their education, and they need to be supported,” Ms Campbell said.
“We just wanted to bring this room up to same standard as what the centre is,” BEST Corporate and Community Services Officer Michèle Jedlicka said.
She said the social housing grant, announced in April this year, was essential to fund the improvements.
Students, Linking Together staff and community members marked the occasion by helping to create a colourful handprint painting, to be hung in either the homework centre or main building.