Timboon aged care, a model for success

The Timboon community’s vision for aged care in the town is continuing to take shape, with work now well underway on the fourth of six independent living units.

Another $12,000 from the Timboon Masonic Lodge this week will go towards the development of the project, which also includes partial demolition of the original Timboon House and its refurbishment into a common area and alfresco decking space.

The $12,000 from the Timboon lodge adds to $11,000 that South West Masonic Homes donated six months ago and continues the freemason’s long-standing commitment to the Abbeyfield Timboon project.

The Timboon site is owned and operated by The Abbeyfield Society (Mortlake) Inc, however chief executive officer Deb Rantall said construction of the Timboon units was almost entirely funded by local fundraising and donations.

“I’m always in awe of the support from the Timboon community for this project. It’s quite incredible and I think it’s an amazing success story,” she said.

“Abbeyfield Mortlake is very proud of the work the Timboon community has done and we’re thrilled with how the project is progressing. All the money raised in Timboon is allocated to the Timboon project.”

Abbeyfield Timboon Committee chairman Peter Pope said the project had moved to its next exciting phase where revenue from the occupied units now meant construction of the remaining units was self-funding.

“That’s taken a lot of pressure of the committee and our wonderful community who worked so very hard – particularly in the early days – to get this project rolling,” he said.

“Now the money being raised by the community can be channeled towards other areas of the project such as the roads, drainage, landscaping and the redevelopment of Timboon House into the common areas for the residents, their families and friends to enjoy.”

Mr Pope said the Timboon community deserved all the credit for the success of the project, but added it was only possible because of Abbeyfield Mortlake.

“Deb and her team at Mortlake manage the whole thing. They handle the legalities, administration, insurances and things like that, which reduces our costs and allows us to concentrate on fundraising and supporting the residents,” he said.

“It’s a great system and it’s the only way it could work. We certainly couldn’t do what we are doing if we had to find money for our own administration.”

Mrs Rantall said the model was proving so successful that there had been interest from other communities to investigate similar projects in their towns.

“As the residents age in Timboon’s units, Abbeyfield Mortlake will be able to assist with our services to help them stay in the units longer or we can discuss moving them to residential care if their needs change,” she said.

“Our organisation is working very hard to maintain and protect not-for-profit aged care for our local communities – a commitment that was recently bolstered by our memorandum of understanding and partnership with Sunnyside House in Camperdown.”

Timboon Masonic Lodge master Gavin Poustie and secretary Kelvin Grant praised facilitator Darcy Howard for his work in raising the donations for Abbeyfield Timboon.

“This is our main fundraising cause because the community needed it and we wanted to be part of it,” Mr Poustie said.

“The local community is getting older and we need these facilities. Some of us might even need to use these units ourselves one day.

“Darcy picks up scrap metal, strips electric wires for the copper, pulls old hot water services apart, cuts wood, runs raffles and all sorts of things to raise the funds we’ve donated to this project. He optimises what freemasonry is all about.”

Unit 4 is on track for completion in late July. Any enquiries regarding it or occupancy of the remaining units at Abbeyfield Timboon can be directed to Mrs Rantall on 5599 2901 or Mr Pope on 0408 524 199.

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