Our Place in Eaglehawk to shut by Christmas

OUR Place at Eaglehawk will close before Christmas, but the Anglican Church hopes it can secure enough funding to ensure the drop-in centre reopens in a different format in the new year.

Bishop Andrew Curnow yesterday told volunteers funding had dried up and Our Place would not operate in its current format from mid-December.

The driving force behind the centre, the Reverend Tracey Wolsley, will finish in her role as chaplain before the end of October.

“Our Place really started three and a half years ago after the Black Saturday fires and the initial funds were donations resulting from that crisis,’’ Bishop Curnow said. “Last year we got $100,000 from the state government, but that was a once-off and not recurrent.’’

Bishop Curnow said the centre would operate until the week before Christmas, and then take a break for the church to consider how it may reopen in the new year. “The plan is to reopen, but not quite at the same level,” he said.

“We hope to reopen in the first week of February, but there is a lot of homework to be done as to what it will be like.

“It’s not unusual for organisations to start with great gusto and receive a great deal of community support, and then other things come up that claim the community’s attention – so how do you keep funding it?

“But we are feeling optimistic something will happen that will allow us to continue.’’

Ms Wolsley yesterday said she hoped the centre would continue to operate and meet an important need in the community.

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