Edwards Square Community Centre’s kitchen will get $46,000 makeover
Murray Bridge Community Centre will refurbish one of its buildings with a share of almost $2 million in state funding for community organisations.
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A round of one-off governance and sustainability grants from the Department of Human Services will allow 64 South Australian grassroots organisations to undertake upgrades that increase the organisations’ capacity.
Such upgrades include a badly needed new kitchen at the Edwards Square Community Centre in Murray Bridge.
Minister for Human Services Nat Cook MP said that the grants, worth $1.97 million in total, would help small non-profit organisations, which did so much to help people in the community.
“Often these grassroots organisations allocate most of their funds to the communities they serve, leaving little for vital governance and sustainability initiatives that will help them maintain operations and support the work they do,” Ms Cook said.
Murray Bridge Community Centre finance and administration officer Sarah Smith explained why the centre applied for funding to replace their somewhat kitsch kitchen at Edwards Square.
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“For us, the sustainability of the Square is ensuring that the kitchen is a functioning, usable space – our kitchen is the original kitchen from when the building was constructed in the 1970s,” she said.
“When we moved in, it was classic retro, with a lot of lime green going on.
“We did have an incredible volunteer who painted the surface of it, but it didn’t increase its usability.
“Currently, it’s not even functional.
“It’s a place to heat up your lunch, have a coffee and a hot drink, whereas it doesn’t have a dishwasher, it doesn’t have a usable oven – it doesn’t have any of that ability to do any kitchen things in it, so this will ensure that we are able to use it.”
Ms Smith said that the current kitchen wasn’t even repairable, so the whole thing needed to be gutted.
“The idea behind it is we’ll go for a more commercial-style kitchen, with the stainless steel surface and counter tops and things like that,” she said.
Development officer Jade Porter added that the new kitchen would use energy-efficent appliances and be great for training purposes.
“It will allow us to deliver our adult education programs up here; it will allow other users of the centre or external service providers to run programs from here; and it will allow catering opportunities,” she said.
“It will provide more programs for the community, with a focus on healthy eating, cooking on a budget and things like that.”
Ms Smith was hopeful that extra training opportunities would translate to other benefits to community members.
“We’re hoping that it will lead to better opportunities for those that do access the new kitchen,” she said.
“We have the adult education through the centre, and so even being able to expose the participants to a better commercial space with a kitchen will hopefully increase their employability and some table skills, and that’s what we’re all about.”