Wootton man’s dream coming to life

Working on the ‘Glenrowan Hostel’ situated on-site

 

WOOTTON man Andrew Drain has been a wheelchair user for the past 33 years, following a motor vehicle accident at the age of 21.

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For 29 of those years, Mr Drain has lived on his block of land in Bachelor State Forest on a 120-acre bush block on the banks of the Wallingat River in Wootton.

“When I bought this bush block in 1992, I knew I wanted to someday be able to share it with other people with disabilities so they could also experience the feeling of freedom and achievement that being in the Australian bush has brought me,” he said.

Mr Drain met his wife, Natsumi, in 2003, and together they have continued to invest their time and savings into developing a lodge on the premises – Bachelor Forest Lodge – a respite created for both abled and non-abled bodied people to enjoy the land as Mr Drain has.

“We’ve spent 17 years together working on the lodge every time we had a spare cent,” he said.

“We’re hoping to offer respite stays, day groups, camping and even kayaking for people with disabilities.”

“We’ll also have gardening with purpose-built raised garden beds, timber and Japanese cooking classes, music therapy, indigenous cultural education, health and wellbeing discussions, and bushwalking through the more than five kilometres of tracks with access to the outback electric scooter for mobility-impaired visitors.”

The Bachelor Forest Lodge will offer two rooms for respite stays and three glamping tents with wheelchair access, as well as two sets of disabled toilets and showers on-site.

“I figure if we set it up for the disabled, anyone in the community can utilise the facility,” said Mr Drain.

“My inspiration is finally being able to see this passion project of mine come to life.”

Mr Drain said that anyone willing or able to help, can visit his GoFundMe page at: au.gofundme.com/f/bachelor-forest-lodge-for-disabled-campers.

 

By Ashley CHRYSLER

 

Bachelor Forest Lodge, nearing completion

 

Andrew Drain working on his dream lodge

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