Building opportunity for more children
The rumbles of change at Cottage by the Sea have become quite loud recently, as refurbishment works stride ahead.
Work on the 80-year-old Cottage got underway just before Christmas last year and parts of the property were closed during the Annual Fair this January. Since the Fair, work has continued in earnest with the removal of the back deck and internal changes underway.
“The project has been in progress for several years now,” says CEO Adam Wake. “In 2016 the Cottage commissioned an Access Audit and a Safety Audit. The audits revealed the building was in much need of updates to meet all standards of modern Australian codes.”
“Like many old buildings, we were just not up to modern standards.” Explains Mr Wake. “With installation of a lift, ambulant facilities and a number of other improvements the Cottage will soon be accessible to a greater number of children.”
“Cottage by the Sea is here for children who have little access to opportunities to have fun, be inspired and to broaden their horizons.” Says Mr Wake. “The works currently underway will enable us to offer opportunities to a more diverse number of children.”
“Children who come to the Cottage are referred to us by school welfare officers, welfare agencies, government health departments or council services. Some are children who are at risk of disengaging from school and society.” Tells Mr Wake. “The cottage is a safe environment that offers these children hope for a happier life. Our programs are fun and include activities that foster cooperation and respect. This helps children build positive relationships with peers and adult role models, both here and once they return to their own community.”
“A recent study into the social impact of Cottage by the Sea revealed that 60% of the benefits of the Cottage are for the children and an astonishing 40% of social value is created for families and the broader community. Imagine what more we can do when we open our doors to more children.”
Bringing the Cottage up to 21st century standards has involved significant financial as well as community investment. Community fundraising events, including the Annual Fair in 2019, and philanthropic donations raised $1.5 million for the renovations. The project has also received funding from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund with a $1.5 million grant. This one-time grant will be directed to the Major Capital Works project only. It does not contribute to funding children’s programs.
“Quite a number of community members have come on board to support us pro bono,” says Mr Wake, “including Deakin Architecture and Design students, local Landscape Architect Tim Nicholas and David McDonald, who has generously volunteered his time to project manage the work.”
“The Cottage is an amazing institution in desperate need of improvement to bring them up to current standards,” says Mr McDonald. “Being local, I’m very familiar with the Cottage and the excellent work they do. I’m happy to be able to lend my time and skills to help keep this great institution going.”
Would you like to help?
Last year over 1,000 children were inspired, had fun and accessed new opportunities through our children’s programs. As Cottage by the Sea programs receive no government funding, we rely on the generosity of corporate sponsors, individual donations and contributions.
If you would like to make a financial donation, please click here or call us on
03 5258 1663
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