Opening ceremony for Park Centre

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The former Park Bowling Club in the Timaru Botanic Gardens has officially reopened as the Park Centre.
About 30 people gathered for the opening ceremony on Wednesday last week.
Alzheimers South Canterbury president Diane Nutsford launched a fundraising project in 2014 to convert the facility into a hub for community groups.
It was renamed the Park Centre, which numerous volunteers have worked hard to refurbish over the past three years.
Alzheimers South Canterbury signed a lease with the Timaru District Council after the bowling club’s closure in 2014.
Presbyterian Support was the first group to get established at the centre, through its Enliven programme, which supports older people to do more of what they would like to do.
The aim of the $500,000 redevelopment is to provide a community centre for up to 12 support groups. The centre offers daycare programmes from Monday to Saturday, and has a lounge and kitchen.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Nutsford said it had been “a nightmare thinking of who I might miss out in thanking”.
Multiple service clubs, businesses and individuals had donated time and money, Mrs Nutsford said. “When we started on this we had no money.
“It snowballed and we’ve just had so much support. It’s been absolutely amazing.
“It’s about groups working together,” Mrs Nutsford said.
Alzheimers South Canterbury patron Jan Hide said she recalled seeing the former Park Bowling Club in its “raw state”.
“I don’t think we could imagine it the way it is today.
“It’s now just a lovely centre in a lovely location.”
The event was attended by former All Black Reuben Thorne, who became familiar with dementia issues through a friend who works in the dementia sector and wanted to help spread the message to New Zealanders about the reality of dementia.
Mr Thorne said it was “quite humbling” to see the amount of work that had gone into developing the facility.
“Diane’s vision for the place was really quite inspiring.
“It’s great to know there is somewhere safe for people to come.”