Waratah Centre welcomes planters

Melissa Nunn, Board Member at Coffs City Rotary, Colleen Hull, President of Waratah Respite Services Management Committee and long-time Waratah Gadabout fundraiser with Ken Ryan, Secretary of the Waratah Management Committee and representing Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed.

WARATAH Respite Services’ Centre in The Community Village at Coffs Harbour has gratefully received two donations which have been used to buy beautifully hand-crafted wooden planter boxes stocked with easy-care plants to cheer up the premises’ front porch.

Coffs City Rotary Club donated $3,000 raised through its annual Rotary Golf Day and the Waratah Gadabouts donated $4,000 raised through afternoon teas and lunches with raffles over the past six months.

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Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed was commissioned to make the wooden planter boxes which they hand crafted with great pride for the centre.

Funds also went towards Christmas presents for the residents.

Representing the Waratah Gadabouts, Colleen Hull, a Waratah Management Committee member for 28 years and a Waratah Gadabout fundraiser for eighteen years, told News Of The Area, “My mother was a client at Waratah.

“It just saved my life having the freedom during the day knowing mum was being cared for and enjoying herself.

“She came here two or three times a week and was always happy to come.

“Our clients, like mum with dementia, stay here for the day where there’s so many activities and volunteers to help.

“We also now have The Cottage where clients can stay over for extended periods,” said Colleen.

The Waratah Respite Centre was first opened in 1987 as an Adult Day Care Centre in Azalea Ave Coffs Harbour.

In 1991 the service relocated to the current Waratah Respite Centre which was built with Home and Community Care (HACC) funding.

HACC services were designed to assist older, frail people or those with disabilities continue living at home.

In 1993 funding was acquired through the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) to provide evening respite for carers of adults with disabilities.

In 1994 following extensive community lobbying and fundraising the six-bed Maureen Guthrie Cottage was opened to provide carers overnight respite.

The Cottage was furnished with the assistance of long-term Management Committee member Des Kingdom and Coffs City Rotary Club.

The Cottage is classified as a residential aged care facility and depends significantly on the donations provided by services in the Coffs area.

“Waratah Respite Services has a long and proud history of delivering flexible respite options for older people, those living with dementia or other disabilities, and their carers living on the Coffs Coast and surrounds,” Ken told NOTA.

“Throughout the years the service has impacted positively on the independence, wellbeing and socialisation of our clients and enabled them to avoid premature placement in residential aged care.

“Today we offer Centre-based social support and respite care in Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga as well as flexible overnight respite in our Maureen Guthrie Cottage for older people, those living with dementia and their carers,” he said.

Waratah Respite Services is a not-for-profit, non-government, incorporated community-based organisation registered with the Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).


Di Russell, the new Manager at Waratah Respite Centre and Des Kingdon, VP of Waratah Respite Services Management Committee proudly showing the new planters at the Waratah Respite Centre’s front porch.

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