Every now and then a challenge comes along that captures the collective heart of the Southern Community Project Group.
All 21 members get on board and skillsets are limited only by imagination.
The result of their teamwork and toil will be on show tomorrow at the opening of Elsie’s Nature Play Space at Coolock House.
Located at Morphett Vale, Coolock House supports pregnant or parenting women aged under 25 years who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“We’ve worked on some big projects, but this is probably the only one where all the men have joined together and really got involved and excited about what we could achieve,’’ Southern Community Project Group (SCPG) Chairman Peter Sando said.
“Knowing who it’s for has given us all a real buzz.’’
In 2019/20, 111 clients including 60 children engaged with Coolock House.
Through onsite and outreach support, young mums are assisted to set goals, re-engage with education, develop independent living and parenting skills, and transition into long-term housing.
“Many of the children who will use the playground would never have had anything like this before, so that means a lot to all of us,’’ Group treasurer Aubrey Bastian said.
The Hackham West-based men’s group teamed up with Centacare to build the space over six months, funded by a donation from a mother and daughter in memory of their loved one, Elsie.
From a bridge to a bus, water feature, reading nook, sand pit, toy boxes, under-tree seating, and a mud kitchen, 12 features make up the $20,000 space.
The site has been landscaped with native species to attract butterflies.
“Before it was quite a desolate space, particularly when it got dry in summer, but now it’s a peaceful garden where mothers and children can play, and share a sense of community with one another,’’ Coolock House Manager Anthea Francis said.
“We are grateful for the generous donation that got this project happening, as well as the great work done by the men’s group, and for donations of time, site works, plants and irrigation from friends of Coolock.’’
The playground will be officially opened by Centacare Director Sarah McRae.