The gift of community
A bequest from an Edge Anglican parishioner is set to bring new life and beauty to an accommodation facility for people on low incomes. Marjorie Wolfe left a gift to Anglicare in her will.
Mrs Wolfe was a long-time parishioner at Claremont and resident of the northern suburbs, so Anglicare will use the gift in her local neighbourhood. The bequest will pay for the refurbishment of the foyer and living room at Bilton Lodge.
Bilton Lodge offers safe, affordable long term communal housing for 36 residents who would otherwise be at risk of homelessness. As well as accommodation, the Lodge provides meals, electricity, a weekly linen service and recreational activities.
‘By spring-time, Bilton Lodge will have had a facelift and residents will be enjoying a new, fresh look to the place,’ said Michael Parkinson from Anglicare’s Supported Residential Services. ‘The whole project is about brightening up the common areas so people are eager to use them. We think it will encourage a greater sense of community and make the entire space more inviting and relaxing.’
Bilton Lodge was formerly an aged care facility. Anglicare has been managing the Lodge for almost 10 years. It’s definitely time to give Bilton some new life and make it look more welcoming and home-like. The gift from Mrs Wolfe will make that possible.
Resident meetings have already been held to gather ideas about the colour scheme, décor, layout and furniture. ‘People made suggestions about accessories such as a new pool table and a television ready for the footy season. We’re also gathering up artwork created by residents over the years – models and paintings - to include as features. Those items are part of the history of the place,’ said Michael.
The rector of Edge Anglican, Stephen Savage said Mrs Wolfe had been an active member of the church and local community over many years. ‘Marj was a quiet, unassuming person. The gift she provided is totally in keeping with her way of doing things. Her compassion stemmed from her relationship with Christ and her desire to support the northern suburbs community. When I first met Marj her eyesight was failing and she lived alone – her husband had died many years before – but she still had a mind to help others and to see the gospel promoted.’
Edge Anglican has an ongoing connection with Bilton Lodge, with church volunteers regularly visiting to undertake jobs such as gardening and small construction projects. Each month, the volunteers hold a BBQ with residents to grow friendships and build community.