The back yard story at Spillett House
7 Dec 2018
The story of our backyard started when we were asked by visitors for a quiet, safe outdoors space to sit. They wanted to relax, read the materials in our library, talk to friends and to our volunteers and staff, to rest their spirits and their legs after a hot day in the city. We had armchairs (hard to get in and out of!) and a friendly ear inside our offices to offer them, but at times (often) our offices are busy, noisy and lively – not the quiet space people were after.
The grassy area outside the office was already well-used, but not by seniors unfortunately, and is often littered and dirty. We looked around to see what was possible with other areas we had access too. We had a small concrete drive behind the building where the COTA bus parked – a bit rough and ready, but fenced off. Staff and volunteers came together to shift what was once indoor cane furniture and coffee tables outside, to clean up, to dust off and they tried to create a small outdoor area here. It wasn’t much, it was, however, a very good start. Unfortunately, this good start caught the eye of a few uninvited overnight guests….and we had to start again.
The COTA team applied for a small Community Benefit Fund grant to help make the area more secure, more attractive and a little greener. We are so thankful that this area is now finished and that finally our efforts paid off. As you can see in the photographs, perseverance and teamwork get us there in the end!
The outdoor space is open during COTA NT’s office hours, Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm and offers all seniors in the community a place to sit and relax. We invite you in to take a look!
The final project unveiled!
Many thanks to all who helped bring the story of our backyard to a happy ending:
- COTA NT Project Officers: Lina Paselli and Cecilia Chiolero
- The Northern Territory Government Community Benefit Fund
- COTA Volunteers: Sue, Ann, Di (for patiently moving and cleaning furniture); George, John, Steve (for work on plants and reticulation), Coleen (for sewing the replacement cushions); Mick and Blu (for parking and re-parking the bus)
- Relationships Australia
- Lauren Moss MLA
- Helping People Achieve
- John Lyne, BJ Property Care
Work in progress