Big Hearts at Forest Lake Shopping Centre
Oct 1, 2018

The lives of many in the Forest Lake community are enriched by local community groups dedicated to helping others, and Forest Lake Shopping Centre is supporting them to continue to thrive through a commitment to donate $20,000 to groups and individuals who make a difference.

So far, Forest Lake has recognised and donated more than $12,000 to a diverse range of causes that do wonders to enrich the lives of residents and contribute to the vitality of the community.

Forest Lake Men's Shed

Forest Lake Men's Shed was provided with funding to purchase power tools.

The Men's shed provides a safe and busy environment for men from all walks of life to come together to work on projects, and acts as a powerful tool in improving community connectedness and mental and physical health of older Australian men.

Forest Lake's Men's Shed President, Steve Bruford, said that the Centre's donation made an enormous impact on the capabilities of the Shed.

"Forest Lake Shopping Centre's generous donation means we are now equipped with a cordless drill, impact driver and power sander - none of which we had before," Mr Bruford said.

"One of the projects these tools helped with was the construction of 'buddy benches' for local primary schools. A buddy bench aims to create a more inclusive playground - if a child is feeling left out, they can sit on the bench and another student will invite them to play, or simply sit and talk with them."

Forest Lake Foodbank

Funding from Forest Lake allowed the group to purchase a 1200 litre, double door freezer to the community group, allowing the Lighthouse Community and Event Centre to expand its support of the local Foodbank program.

Foodbank - Australia's largest hunger relief organisation - provides food assistance to more than 65,000 Australians each month. Acting as a giant pantry, it redirects groceries away from landfill and into the kitchens of people who need it most.

Joshua Aviva from the Lighthouse Community and Events Centre said that the freezer from Forest Lake Shopping Centre meant that they can now store and share perishable items and cold goods with the people they support.

"Previously we had no way to store milk, meat and frozen food, our Foodbank hampers didn't include these essential items. The Centre's generous donation means we can provide a more comprehensive package to those accessing the Foodbank service," Mr Aviva said. 

Forest Lake State School's Special Education Program

A donation of $4,000 has allowed Forest Lake State School to revitalise learning and leisure areas. The school used the donation to purchase a range of flexible classroom furnishings to enhance the learning environment in their multi-age classrooms, and a portable music system to be used at lunch times as an inclusive playground activity.

Kerry Gair, Deputy Principal at Forest Lake State School said, "We now have a colourful rug used for mat and group activities in the lower primary class. It provides a designated area that supports the children to develop skills needed for group settings. We also purchased a range of large, vinyl-covered shapes which can be used for either seating or construction and play tasks - this equipment has been immensely popular with the children. The portable music system has also been well received by our students. They're enjoying getting their groove on, creating their own dance moves, and playing a variety of music-based games."

ESG 2018