Joy as $300,000 donation saves Seaview House 

THE Friends of Seaview House in Portland are celebrating after gaining the $300,000 in donations they needed to secure the future of the supported residential facility.

Chairwoman of the steering committee to save the house from closure, Myra Bourke, said the group would next move to negotiate a lease for the 18-room facility with Portland District Health (PDH).

Health Department approval would also be needed for the steering committee’s plan to take over the house’s management, Mrs Bourke said.

She said PDH had asked the steering committee to provide $300,000 as “start up capital” to show its plan to take over the facility was viable.

PDH’s intention to end its management of the facility on January 24 sparked considerable community concern.

Mrs Bourke said contributions towards the $300,000 start-up capital had come from across the Portland community.

Among those to contribute were people “that wanted the facility to be there for them should they require it in future” and from friends and families of residents. The 10-year-old centre has the capacity to accommodate up to 58 residents and offers picturesque views of Portland harbour. 

Mrs Bourke — a former registered nurse and previous director of nursing at PDH — will be appointed as the facility’s interim manager if the steering committee’s plan comes to fruition. She said accommodation at Seaview House would be available “to anyone that wants to go there”.

People would not need to be assessed by government aged-care service to be eligible for accommodation.

It would be a staffed facility for people who needed “a bit more care that being at home”, she said.

The community group recently incorporated to manage the service. 

A board of directors has been established with members including Marg Johnston, Sue Reiffel, Michael Goldby, Colin Johnson and Mrs Bourke. 

Mrs Bourke said only five residents remained in the building after the PDH’s plans to close it prompted most residents to leave.

“We are looking for more residents,” she said.

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