Community Carers Accommodation South East is celebrating funding approval for the next stage of construction at the South East Regional Hospital site.
Late last week, the organisation’s president Lynne Koerbin received a letter from Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash confirming her approval of funding for the construction of Stage 2 of the patient carers accommodation.
“I was so excited when I opened the email and saw the word ‘approved’. I literally jumped for joy,” Ms Koerbin said.
“This will mean we can commence stage 2 construction and deliver a better facility for the community sooner rather than later.”
The funding, stemming from the federal government's Building Better Regions Fund, now allows for the construction of a second wing of six motel style rooms, a shared kitchen, dining and lounge area.
“I think a couple of factors went in our favour,” Ms Koerbin said.
“When senator [Arthur] Sinodinos joined us for the sod turning event last December, he commented on what a great community initiative the carers project has been, and he admired the collaborative approach, where community, service clubs, the health service and all levels of government have all been working together to make it happen.”
Ms Koerbin said the other key factor was the level of funding requested for the next stage, with 60 per cent of the total budget already set aside after individuals, businesses, service clubs, Bega Valley Shire Council and the state government all chipped in.
“This meant that we only had to ask for 40 per cent of the funding through the BBRF grant,” she said.
“In the scheme of things, ours was a fairly small request.”
The grant covers capital works only, which means the organisation will need to raise further funds for furnishings and furniture.
“The committee is confident the biggest hurdle has been cleared to make the carers accommodation facility a reality. Stage 1 is progressing really well,” Ms Koerbin said.
“The roof is on, windows in, exterior walls rendered, and I understand plasterers are booked to commence next week.
“I can’t thank our local community enough for getting behind this project.”