Lifeskills Plus achieves a long-held goal

Lifeskill’s Plus CEO Carolyn Peek, Lifeskills client Chris Rushworth, Family and Community Services executive director Tracy Wright, Peabody Energy’s Lloyd Coleman, Lifeskills Plus Board of Directors chairman Allan Brindley, and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s Sam Watson celebrated the opening on the new Lifeskills Plus building on Friday night.

Lifeskill’s Plus CEO Carolyn Peek, Lifeskills client Chris Rushworth, Family and Community Services executive director Tracy Wright, Peabody Energy’s Lloyd Coleman, Lifeskills Plus Board of Directors chairman Allan Brindley, and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s Sam Watson celebrated the opening on the new Lifeskills Plus building on Friday night.

After months of hard work, Lifeskills Plus celebrated the opening of stage one of the Lifeskills Plus Community Centre on Friday night.

Lifeskills Plus board of directors chairman Allan Brindley told gathered guests that the community centre had been a goal of the organisation for many years.

“This centre has enabled Lifeskills to have a purpose built structure that has been designed to enhance the way our team delivers services and valuable programs to our clients,” Mr Brindley said. 

“It will also enable us to provide additional services and offerings to the wider community through such features as the sensory garden, and a state-of-the-art respite centre.”

Mr Brindley said the community centre was a testament to the hard work, dedication and support of the community as a whole. 

“There are a number of generous sponsors, volunteers and tradespeople who have been closely associated with this project who have helped make this centre a reality,” he said. 

The offices, reception, the kitchen, respite bedrooms, and the multipurpose room are just some of the areas completed during stage one. Stage one construction also includes the Newcastle Permanent sensory garden and the Wilpinjong Coal respite garden.

“Our guys really deserve this,” Lifeskills Plus community liaison Bob Lejeune said.  

“For too long they’ve been booked into the old place and now they have all this space, and all these new experiences and it’s just amazing to see it all come together.”

As part of the official opening, new ambassadors Brothers3 - who performed a fundraising concert after the opening - were presented with medals by Lifeskills Plus clients as thanks for their support. 

“We were thinking we needed someone who would spread the word about Lifeskills and the work we do here,” Lifeskills Plus CEO Carolyn Peek said. 

“We were looking for someone who our clients would look up to, someone they could relate to.

“We wanted a positive role model and someone who was going to be generous of themselves and willing to lend a hand. 

“We not only got one, we got three and we’re very thankful for that.”

Throughout the afternoon, Brothers3 members Shardyn, Tayzin, and Makirum Fahey- Leigh spent some time showing parents, clients, and community members around the new centre.

“It was great to see them being so involved,” Mr Lejeune said. 

“They’re very much down to earth and it was great to seem them pick up their guitars and sing some songs with the clients,” he said. 

Ms Peek thanked the businesses, organisations, individuals, and volunteers involved in making the community centre a reality and said she hoped their support would continue in stage two of construction. 

Work on stage two of construction will include new offices, a music room, an art room, a therapy room, training room, and a multi sensory room for clients.

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