Komatsu Australia and Tanilba Bay community join forces to refurbish Girl Guides hall

Victoria Grey, Smith Family, Scott Curtis and Todd Hutton of Komatsu Australia and Natasha Reece, Smith Family.

 

THE former Girls Guides hall in Tanilba Bay is set for a dramatic makeover, thanks to a $10,000 donation from Komatsu Australia.

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Todd Hutton and Scott Curtis applied for the donation through their employer as part of Komatsu’s Live Your Dream Program, which invites employees to propose worthy community projects for the global heavy machinery corporation to support.

Scott and Todd specified the Smith Family as their chosen community group, who suggested refurbishing the Girl Guides hall with the donation.

“They outlined that the hall needed to be done up, and it’s a project that we can be hands on with as well.

“We think we can really make a difference here,” said Scott.

Natasha Reece, Project Manager, Facilitating Partner Team, Smith Family Communities for Children Initiative, said the refurbished hall, currently used by Centre for Hope as a youth drop-in centre in the afternoons and evenings twice a week, would be transformed into a community hub.

“Centre for Hope were really keen to turn the space into a community hub and to get it used in the daytime as well,” said Natasha.

“When completed the hall will be used for things like play groups, school transition groups, parenting programs, counselling, cooking and exercise groups,” she said.

The hall will now be shared with organisations including the Centre for Hope, KU Children’s Services, Save the Children, Interrelate Ltd, Samaritans Foundation, and the Family Action Centre of the University of Newcastle.

Geraldine Moran, CEO of Centre for Hope, said she was excited for the future of the hall and the impact it would have on young people in Tanilba Bay.

“The young people will see value in themselves, from the value they see people putting into this centre.

“It will reflect to them how important they are to the community.

“The Smith Family do wonderful things and we feel so privileged to be a part of it,” she said.

While Scott and Todd were instrumental in securing the funding for the project, their impact does not stop there, with the pair offering their skills, time, and connections to complete much of the refurbishment work themselves.

“Komatsu is giving us two weeks off to work on the hall. We will get the big wide brim hat on and get into it. We should have enough to keep us busy for a few weeks,” said Scott.

The pair are beginning work from 19 October and invite the community down to the hall to lend a hand.

“All are welcome,” Todd said.

“Many hands make light work.”

The hall refurbishment project has also received generous offers of assistance from several local businesses, including free concreting, excavation, and labouring.

While not finalised, the project is likely to include new fencing for the hall, a patio area, rejuvenation of the kitchen and a focus on enhancing the natural beauty of the space with native plants and trees.

 

By Doug CONNOR

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