THE dream of building carers accommodation at the South East Regional Hospital is set to become reality.
On Monday, December 7, Community Carers Accommodation South East (CCASE) was notified it had received a grant of $450,000 towards the project under the National Stronger Regions Fund, matching the money it had already raised.
“I’m still having trouble wiping the smile off my face,” CCASE president Lynne Koerbin said on Thursday.
“It would have taken a lot of sausage sizzles to get to this stage – this grant means we can get started.”
The funding will be available from July 1 next year so Ms Koerbin estimated the accommodation would open in 2017.
She said in its grant application CCASE stated it would begin works in March, using its own funding for the infrastructure and earthworks then, when the funding came through in July, construction would start.
The aim was to have an 18-room facility, with three wings and self-sufficient units.
The funding will provide the first wing, which will include six rooms and a sitting room, but more fundraising will be needed to afford the second two. This first wing will be for stays of longer than a few days, while the third wing will just be for overnight sleeps.
“It’s hard to predict what the demand for the facility will be, so there will be a cost, but it will be a low cost,” Ms Koerbin said.
She had heard concerns that the accommodation would be used for nurses, doctors or students, but wanted to be clear it would just be for carers – such as family members of patients or those recovering from day surgery.
In what is a great outcome for CCASE, she said the facility will be managed by the Bega Valley Health Service when it is completed.
Ms Koerbin thanked all the residents, groups and businesses in the Bega Valley who had donated to CCASE, saying there had been amazing support across the Valley.