Centre a hub for senior citizens

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Senior Citizens Centre members David Wilkinson and Robert Phillis warm up for their weekly bowls session at the centre.
Camera IconBunbury Senior Citizens Centre members David Wilkinson and Robert Phillis warm up for their weekly bowls session at the centre. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

The clink of bowls and laughter amid the old-fashioned banter make it clear to see that the Bunbury’s Senior Citizens Centre plays an important role in the life of many locals.

In the upstairs activity room of the Bunbury Meals on Wheels and Senior Citizens Association’s Stirling Street facility members have gathered for their weekly game of bowls.

To the right of the roll-out green is the centre’s ever-growing and popular op shop — one of many new initiatives launched by the facility in a bid to turn its financial future around.

There was a palpable feeling of relief in the air last week after Bunbury City Council supported a request from the centre for extra funding following fears it would have to close.

The council will financially support the centre through a three-year agreement worth $50,000 a year.

Centre manager Bev Buck said she was rapt with the decision, but there was still more work to be done to keep the not-for-profit organisation afloat.

Centre entertainment president Lloyd Mannell said members were “very scared” at the prospect of the facility closing.

“This is their only means of entertainment, they like coming here, they don’t have anywhere else to go,” Mr Mannell said.

“This is all they’ve got and without this place, people would be totally lost.”

The centre has at least 40 members who take part in weekly activities such as bowling, singalongs and dances.

It also provides cheap meals, support and other services for the community’s elderly.

Centre staff and volunteers say they will continue to look at new ideas and initiatives, including rebranding and fresh activities.

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