COBDEN’S Tandarook House – which has sat vacant for two years – has found temporary tenants in BlazeAid volunteers.
Announced on Sunday, Tandarook House owners The Salvation Army have agreed to donate the use of the facility to BlazeAid while volunteers were still working in the community.
Corangamite Shire Council mayor Jo Beard commended Shire fire recovery manager Jarrod Woff for organising the use of the “much-loved community asset”.
“We’re very grateful to the Salvation Army for allowing our BlazeAid volunteers to utilise the facility which is a much-loved facility in the community which has sat dormant for two years,” she said.
“It’s great to see it being used and supporting our volunteers. The relationship that we continue to have with BlazeAid is paramount to our long-term recovery for our local farmers.
“We acknowledge what a different stage as a community we would be without them.
“They made a commitment very early on that they would be there to the very end and this is the the least that we can do.”
Since announcing the news on the Cobden Community Facebook page on Sunday night, offers of furniture and bedding have flooded in.
“There’s people coming out with beds and furniture to help utilise the space,” Cr Beard said.
“Once again, it just shows how the community continues to come through and recognise what BlazeAid means to this community and see what we can do to help them help us.”
BlazeAid Cobden camp co-ordinator Chris Male was overwhelmed with the generosity of the Salvation Army.
She said having the available space would allow people who may have wanted to volunteer but were unable to because of not having their own facilities could now get involved.
“I’ve already had one call from someone wanting to volunteer since,” Mrs Male said.
“Again we have to express our gratitude to the Cobden community for all the help – they respond so quickly.”
Receiving the keys on Monday, volunteers were quick to give Tandarook a spring clean ahead of the arrival of 14 students and two staff members from Geelong North Technical School, who spent three days volunteering.
“It’s a wonderful learning experience for the students,” Mrs Male said.
“We had five students volunteer earlier in the year and they couldn’t wait to come back.”
All meals as well as mustering would be completed at the Cobden Go Kart track, which Mrs Male described as the “heart of the camp”.
To find out more about how to volunteer at Cobden BlazeAid, based out of the Cobden Go Kart Club, contact camp co-ordinator Christine Male on 0418 745 994 or to help out with catering, contact meal roster convenor Judi Oakes on 0419 332 540.