Refuge embraces change

A VITAL community centre in danger of closing has been given a new lease on life.

The Griffith Women's Refuge has agreed to take over the Alma Bamblett Centre in Pioneer after the previous lessee, Summit, decided not to renew its lease.

The head of Pioneer Tenants Advisory Group (PTAG), Elizabeth Hansen, had been furiously petitioning local groups in an effort to secure a new lessee and is thrilled the Women's Refuge has agreed.

The new arrangement will begin on November 4.

"We're looking forward to bigger and better things in future," Mrs Hansen said.

"It will still stay as the Alma Bamblett Centre and PTAG will be driving it but we hope to build it up and include more services there."

Mrs Hansen said the alliance would benefit Pioneer residents in need of assistance from the Women's Refuge.

Refuge manager Yvonne Wilson said the centre provided a "very important service" to the community.

"It is a community centre in a very disadvantaged community," Mrs Wilson said.

"We want to engage residents and work together with the community to make it a centre for everyone."

Mrs Wilson has big plans for the centre and hopes to provide greater access to services and information for residents.

Volunteers will be kept abreast of new changes and Mrs Wilson plans to work in conjunction with PTAG.

"We will talk to the community and find out how best the centre can be utilised," she said.

"We also need to look at how we can assist with what's needed there and see if we can generate any income to recoup costs."

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