The Canowindra Country Women’s Association (CWA) rejoiced last week when they received a $7,500 grant to create an accessible entrance and side pathway at the CWA hall.
What might seem like a windfall, was actually the culmination of months of hard work by member Fiona Ferguson, according to president Betty Jenkins.
“Fiona is very good at doing grants and it did take a lot of work to do it. You eagerly await to hear what the result is, so she was absolutely delighted that her hard work had enabled us to get the grant. We are very thankful for Fiona.”
Betty said the group is grateful for the money and assured the community it will be put to good use. “The entrance gateway does not currently meet regulations. The cement area that follows through the gate is very uneven and dangerous for anyone, whether they be young or old.”
The accessible entranceway will support the recently created disabled toilet, allowing the space to be truly usable by the entire community.
The group was successful in obtaining the grant under round six of the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, which will deliver important accessibility upgrades to the building including widening and replacing the front entrance.
Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education Andrew Gee MP was on hand last week to present the cheque to the hard working la-dies and discuss how the grant will benefit the community.
“Canowindra’s CWA hall has been at the heart of the town’s community for the last 87 years. It is home to local dance, drama and church groups and is also used by local businesses and as a meeting spot for the community,” said Andrew.
“While most of the hall is in excellent condition, the footpaths and entrance gate are showing their age, so I am pleased that the Federal Government is helping to make the space accessible for all. This work will make entering the hall safer and easier to access for people with disabilities or people who are pushing prams.”
Despite the achievement, the ladies are not resting on their laurels. President Betty Jenkins said there is still more to be done. “It is a bit like an old house. You do some renovations, then you discover something else needs to be renovated and that is exactly what happens with the CWA hall. There is always maintenance to be done and we can only do it through people who are happy to give us a grant when we apply.”
“We have had a lot of good members over the years who are willing to work. We have renovated the inside of the hall, put curtains in and upgraded the kitchen to meet regulations. We do a lot of catering. The townspeople always say, ‘We want the CWA ladies to do it,’ which means that whoever hires us is putting money back into the town.”
Indeed, the ladies had no time to rest and were immediately hard at work, making litres of pumpkin soup to cater for last weekend’s Holden Nationals 20th Year Celebration on Gaskill Street.
By Verity Middleton