A community renowned for its fundraising efforts is helping the West Otago Health Trust raise money to refurbish flats which sit in the grounds of Tapanui’s medical centre and the Ribbonwood Country Home.
Trust chairman Hans van der Linden said the organisation had already refurbished two flats, which were now occupied.
The flats were built in 1981 but had stood empty for more than 10 years when the former hospital on the same grounds was closed, he said.
The two flats were given a total makeover, getting new kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, drapes and double-glazing.
“She’s been a pretty major effort,” Mr van der Linden said.
It took the trust about 12 months to fully renovate the two flats.
The flats provided independent living for elderly people, he said.
The residents paid rent but had the option of having lunch at the Ribbonwood Country Home.
A laundry service was offered, a nurse was on call and residents were checked regularly, he said.
Now the trust has started looking at refurbishing the two other flats.
The first two flats cost about $70,000 each to refurbish, Mr van der Linden said.
“That included some of the infrastructure for the other two.”
The funding for the flat refurbishment came from several sources.
“There was a significant donation from an anonymous source.”
Other funding came from the trust’s reserves, he said.
Fundraising for the remaining two flats is under way.
The West Otago Lions and the West Otago A&P Association were helping by donating the proceeds of a hay and silage competition held in the winter which yielded $13,000 and the Austin Ballantyne Trust gave $10,000.
PGG Wrightson was also hosting a fundraiser at the West Otago A&P Show and a calf-rearing scheme was being run.
Trust secretary Nicole Cronin said the occupants of the flats had the added bonus of being able to mix with the rest-home residents.
The trust had received plenty of interest in the flats, with people keen to occupy them, Mrs Cronin said.