Orana Women’s Health at Caringbah will have a new home in 2019.
The community support centre that assists victims of domestic violence, is moving to Gymea from January 21.
It has called Caringbah its base for 29 years. Doors close there on December 14.
In almost three decades, the service has helped Sutherland Shire women with referrals, and has successfully addressed social isolation through supportive groups including book clubs and knitting activities.
Volunteers have been at the heart of operations, with many helping the community for at least a decade. The centre’s longest serving volunteer clocked up 25 years.
Orana has become a second home for manager Bernadette Hoy, who has been part of the organisation’s family for the past 11 and a half years.
She says the move is bitter sweet, as staff look forward to new beginnings.
“An end of an era it is,” Mrs Hoy said.
“This was a council decision – we were stuck in a hard place and it wasn’t our preference to move, but we are grateful and thankful for the new building.
“We were lucky to have big windows and be open to the public with an accessible walkway – the new location doesn’t have that same aspect. But we want women to know that the same great service will continue.
“We are most proud of the women we’ve assisted particularly through our domestic violence safety and healing program.
“Domestic violence is our core business. It’s always going to be an ongoing battle as numbers are on the increase, but awareness is growing about what support is out there.”
“We’re going to see how it develops. Hopefully the public will embrace the new location.”
A Sutherland Shire Council spokeswoman says the council resolved to move forward with the sale of the neighbouring premises in 2017, and has worked with Orana, the current occupier, to find a suitable new location for its valued community service.
“The new location, chosen by Orana, is within Gymea Early Childhood Centre in the heart of Gymea’s community hub,” she said.
“The centre is directly opposite Gymea train station, right next door to Gymea Community Aid and Information Service, and features an open room for group sessions and offices to use for consulting.
“Orana supports our vision of a caring, supporting and connected community and this new location will allow this community organisation to continue its valuable work within our community.”
To mark the Caringbah closure, the community is invited to a high tea on 11am and 2pm on Wednesday, December 5 at 346A Kingsway.
The new centre will be at 39 Gymea Bay Road, Gymea. The phone number and email address remains the same.