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YMCA well underway

Saturday, 16th February, 2019

Here’s cheers: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and YMCA Broken Hill Area Manager Shane Simmons raise a toast with a slice of healthy watermelon. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Here’s cheers: NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and YMCA Broken Hill Area Manager Shane Simmons raise a toast with a slice of healthy watermelon. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

The YMCA Integrated Wellness Centre was officially opened yesterday after seeing a 220 per cent uplift in just one month.

The soft opening of the YMCA was held for the public on January 19 and 2000 people streamed through the doors.

Yesterday the Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, and Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, joined YMCA staff and volunteers to unveil the plaque and take a tour.

YMCA Broken Hill Area Manager, Shane Simmons, said since January 19 they had seen a growth of 250 new members and the creation of 25 new jobs.

“We now have a raft of new programs including a Youth Hub, Active After School Kids Yoga and Wellness Cafe have all been introduced with significant take up,” he said.

“We’ve seen the return of squash and school sport as well as the launch of Novita Disability Services.

“There has been a 220 per cent uplift in utilisation in one month.”

YMCA NSW was awarded $3.9 million in 2017 from the NSW Government under the Restart NSW Resources for Regions program to redevelop the facility into a community wellness centre. 

The project was boosted by a grant of $371,302 from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund in 2018 for the mezzanine level; $100,000 from Broken Hill City Council through the Community Assistance Grants program and $25,000 from Maari Ma Aboriginal Health.

Designed by AJ+C architects following consultation with the community and leading experts in child safe building design, the new centre was constructed in less than nine months by Hutchinson Builders, with 19,373 hours worked by 41 different trades (the majority local), and the target spend on Indigenous participation exceeded by 60 per cent. 

Y’s Men’s Club president Barry Powell said he was blown away by the new centre.

“It is brilliant, I love the way they have framed the wall of the old German Club,” he said.

“Who would have thought it would all come out looking like this?

“It doesn’t look like something from Broken Hill.”

Mr Barilaro said he was happy to be back for the opening after being in the city 12 months ago for the sod turning.

“It’s a beautiful building, but it’s about what happens inside that we’re excited about - creating a whole wellness centre.”

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