A beautiful facelift at Albury women’s refuge Betty’s Place has been designed to create a welcoming and healing space for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
The major renovation at the service run by Yes Unlimited – which included a fresh coat of paint throughout the building, new flooring, furnishings, new kitchen area, art, rugs, bedding and appliances – has visibly brightened and lightened the previously drab interior.
Betty’s Place program manager Danielle Thompson said a lot of thought had gone into the project and feedback from women who had stayed at the refuge was a major factor in the decision to upgrade the space.
“People who are experiencing domestic violence and have to flee their homes are at their most vulnerable and the idea of utilising a women’s refuge is confronting for many people,” Ms Thompson said.
“A living space that is welcoming, warm and safe is so important for this kind of service.
“At Yes Unlimited we believe the physical environment can have huge impacts on someone’s healing journey, particularly after an experience of trauma.”
The upgrade, overseen by Homes Out West Community Housing, means the two single rooms, three family rooms and separate unit all now include a television, microwave and fridge, giving residents privacy or the option to engage with others in communal spaces.
The new space also includes more versatile furnishings including trundle beds and porta-cots that allow staff to shift room configurations to best accommodate the needs of those staying.
Yes Unlimited client services manager Jon Park said the community had donated more than $60,000 in funds to the project.
Mr Park said local businesses had also supported Betty’s Place with generous donations, particularly the team at Lawrences Furniture One, who supplied and assembled all the furnishings.
“It’s fantastic to see the community wanting to take responsibility for the issue of domestic violence,” he said.
“At the end of the day family violence isn’t our issue, it’s the community’s issue.”
While there is still minor tweaking to work that started in May, those who have seen the new-look Betty’s Place have been pleasantly surprised, Ms Thompson said.
The Changemakers youth team was among the first to inspect the space and it certainly met with the approval of member Eli Davern.
“If a team from The Block turned up to do a reno here, there wouldn’t be anything to do,” he said approvingly.
- If you require support for domestic violence call 1800 737 732 (24hrs).