Elliott Heads Bowls Club has improved access for the community with an upgrade to their ramp entry thanks to a $4,000 grant from Bundaberg Regional Council.
The new ramp, complete with grip strips and tactile safety indicators, replaced an existing structure that club Vice President John Herwig said had become dangerous over time, as exposure to the elements had rotted the timbers and rusted the screws.
John said the club worked with Council’s Community Development team to access the grant program, starting with an onsite meeting to highlight the problem the club wanted to fix.
“I could show [Council] what I was looking at, to let the Council know through the grants program, it was a priority thing,” John said.
“We would like to thank the Bundaberg Regional Council for giving us that grant, because otherwise, we've got to sell approximately $12,000 product over the bar to cover something like that.”
Club President Steve Powers said the improved access meant club members now had an ungated ramp entry as an alternative to steps.
“We've got quite a few people that that come up that have wheelie walkers, mobility aids and walking sticks, wheelchairs,” Steve said.
“Different grants that we've applied for over the last few years have made a lot of difference in the way the club looks and also the way people can gain access and be able to utilise the property in a more functional way.
“With our community, one of the things that we do is we try to be inclusive.
“Whilst it's a bowls club, it caters for a larger number of other groups, and different members that come up here for different reasons and one of our core things is really looking after our community.”
Council Community Services portfolio spokesperson Councillor Tracey McPhee said supporting organisations to improve accessibility was a high priority.
“Providing safe access for people of all mobility levels and upgrades to community organisations is so important,” Cr McPhee said.
“When facilities are repaired and upgraded, the community take more pride in them and are more likely to get involved in their local organisations.
“We know social inclusion is one of the markers of good quality of life at any age and accessibility issues can impact individual’s ability to get out into the community.”
The club engaged local carpenter Tom Hughes to carry out the construction work, and John said it was important to the club that they employ a local family.
“They donate to the club and support everything, so we felt, well they support us, we'll support them,” John said.
Bundaberg Regional Council's Community Services Grants Program provides assistance to local community groups and organisations who make positive contributions to the quality of life in the Bundaberg Region.
Round Three of the grants program opens on 1 November, with more information on how to apply here.