Centacare’s much loved Kolbe Cottage has reopened after a six-month state-of-the-art renovation.

Known for its home-like environment, Kolbe has been providing support for children with intellectual disabilities for more than 34 years.

A housewarming party for families, friends and staff last week marked the start of a new era at the 1930s Plympton site.

It has been transformed with an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, sensory room, office space, and new bedroom and bathroom facilities for clients and staff.

A playground, to be built in the coming months, will complete the project.

Kolbe offers overnight stays and day respite on weekends and during school holidays for children aged 5 to 18 years.

The redevelopment will enable Centacare’s respite and day options program, Centanet, to operate concurrently on-site for the first time.

Centanet supports young people to engage in a range of group-based community and recreational activities, with an emphasis on having fun with friends.

Lyn Lenthall has worked at Kolbe for the past 20 years and says clients are already embracing their new “home”.

“I had a participant with me today and it was almost like he knew he was home; he was happy to wander. Other clients I know are excited. They will all love it. It’s just beautifully laid out.”

Catholic Charities, builder Jim Rinaldi, and Centacare’s Kokoda Challenge 2017 team contributed to the redevelopment.  The team leaves for Papua New Guinea on Friday, led by Assistant Director Bernie Victory who is returning to Kokoda for a 13th time.

“For 20 years staff have talked about how it would be good to have improved facilities but without changing the lovely cottage-like atmosphere Kolbe is known for, and I think we’ve achieved that,” Bernie says.

Lachlan Purves (pictured), Executive Manager, Disability Services, hopes Kolbe’s renovation will open up new opportunities: “Kolbe Cottage has a well-earned and widely held reputation for the high standard of service that has been provided over many years. The renovation to the property itself now brings the site up to the same standard.

“We expect the renovated site will facilitate opportunity to expand on our services, and the number of individuals we can offer our services to.”

For more information about NDIS supports provided at Kolbe Cottage, phone our Disability Services team on 82156818 or email disability@centacare.org.au