Oak Flats Anglican partners with State Government to improve access for people with disabilities

Anna Watson, Member for Shellharbour, will on Sunday open a Disabled Access Facility at Oak Flats Anglican Church. The facility is an endeavour of the Church to better cater for disabled or elderly people who like to attend services, functions and community activities there. It will also meet the needs of parents with young children in prams or strollers.

Built by local builder Milliken Builders at a cost in excess of $98,000 the facility was partly funded by a grant of $25,000 from the New South Wales Government Dept. of Premier and Cabinet through a community building partnership in 2010. The church community raised the remainder of the funds through personal donations. This created a significant investment in the local area by a relatively small, but active community group.

The facility comprises a disabled toilet, a relocated men’s toilet and access paths for wheelchairs, walking frames or strollers. Designed by Wollongong architects Edminston Jones, in conjunction with Shellharbour City Council, the facility is the latest in disabled access design.

Senior Minister at Oak Flats, Rev Jodie McNeill said “Jesus had a heart for people with disabilities, and this is something we share at Oak Flats Anglican. This new access ramp and toilets for people with disabilities opens our church to many people who might have previously found it hard to enter. I am thankful to God and for the decision of the NSW Government and for the generosity of the many mums and dads in our church who gave sacrificially to see our doors open wider to those with disabilities or small children.”

The official opening will take place at 10:30am on this Sunday, 16th December at Oak Flats Anglican Church at 35 Fisher Street preceded by a regular church service at 9:00am and morning tea. A Celebration of Carols for the local community will celebrate the opening in the afternoon from 5:00pm. All are most welcome.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Paul Burgess of the Parish Council on 0416 273 586 or Rev Jodie McNeill on 0425 222 338.