New community house home and hosed

Liam Durkin

LOCH Sport now has a new community house.

Residents celebrated with a ‘housewarming’ last Wednesday, sharing a meal and officially marking the opening of the venture.

The new facility is a converted holiday house, and is a huge upgrade from the previous community house which was a ramshackle space in the town’s public hall.

In keeping with the holiday house feel, the new space features a Fiji-inspired backyard, with palm trees and the word ‘bula’ marked out in stones on the pavement.

Loch Sport Community House manager Anna Roberts said it was a huge boost to now have their own space.

“Moving into this new venue has allowed us to really deliver the work that community houses do, which is supporting the community,” she said.

“It’s allowed us to act more as a drop-in space for people that need or want company, or need referrals to services and just reach a wider population in Loch Sport.”

Ms Roberts paid credit to the hardworking volunteer committee, particularly secretary Eleanor Speed, who had helped move the community house out of the hall. She added the benefits of the move were already showing.

“The accessibility of this location has been a huge highlight for the community house,” she said.

“We are more central in town, so people do drop in.

“We have a really comfortable lounge for people to sit down and have a cup of tea and have a chat.”

Community houses run a number of activities such as yoga, arts and crafts and computer skills, and also assist health and wellbeing.

“We work with the community to develop skills and activities and events that they would like to do,” Ms Roberts said.

“We provide a lot of support to people, but they can come in and openly chat about what’s going on in their life and we can then recommend or tell them about services that are available.

“The community house is not daunting, [people prefer] to just drop into a house where you might go visit a friend, rather than have to walk into an office.

“It’s all about enabling the community to form community.”

Loch Sport Community House is open weekdays 9.30am to 3pm at 55 National Park Rd.

For more information, phone the house on 5146 0145 or visit Loch Sport Community House Inc on Facebook.