By Anthony Hall
A Lotterywest grant will help one of WA’s first senior citizen centres lead the country in the future of elderly care.
Victoria Park Connect will use the funds to modernise the suburb’s aged care services.
The building has been awaiting refurbishment for many years and
the centre’s village hub project could soon become the standard in communities across Australia.
Lotterywest has given the pilot project, the first of its kind in WA, nearly $190,000.
CEO of Victoria Park Connect, Luke Garswood believes the project will act as a service to better help residents both in government housing and in the general area.
“We will have more people who can assist anyone over 55 living in Vic Park who needs help to keep living here as they get older,” Garswood says.
“We need to try and get younger people coming in and by younger I mean 55 to 65 year olds.”
The funds are being used to renovate the centre’s offices to make it more inviting to locals and help support the extra staff needed to run more activities and aid services.
“$48,000 has been used for the refurbishment and the rest is for wages and an evaluation of the pilot project,” Garswood says.
“First impressions are everything so when you walk in and say you’re retired and want to get involved in things, I think if you walk into a bright and light modern space with friendly people you’re going to think wow this place could be interesting,” he said.
Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said the initiative had come at a good time as more than 22 percent of the town is aged above 55 with an expected growth of 12,800 by 2036.
“Any upgrades to Connect Victoria Park’s facilities will help improve the amazing services they already provide to our community,” he said.