Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Sup­port­ers of Can­ning­ton’s Santa’s Work­shop have pe­ti­tioned the City of Can­ning to help the vol­un­teer group find a new home. Vice pres­i­dent Pablo Manalac asked specif­i­cally about the short-term avail­abil­ity of Can­ning Ten­nis Club and South Bent­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing, but has con­ceded the group will “work with any­one who can of­fer us a place” as their forced exit from Sevenoaks Se­nior Col­lege looms large.

VOL­UN­TEERS be­hind Can­ning­ton’s soon-to-be-home­less Santa’s Work­shop have ap­plied to make their group a char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The change would en­sure their fu­ture as a re­cy­cler and builder of toys for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren would not have to be tied to a prin­ci­pal spon­sor.

At a time when the not­for-profit is mark­ing 20 years in the com­mu­nity, it has had its fund­ing cut by wel­fare group Out­care, which had its own fund­ing cut ear­lier this year.

The fi­nan­cial loss and the ar­range­ment with Out­care means the group will also lose its head­quar­ters at Sevenoaks Se­nior Col­lege from De­cem­ber 13.

Li­ai­son of­fi­cer Pablo Manalac told Can­ning Times the 40 vol­un­teers were look­ing for a 350sq m fa­cil­ity close to pub­lic trans­port and $25,000 to fund an oper­at­ing bud­get for what they are call­ing the new Santa’s Work­shop.

“We are be­ing more flex­i­ble now. We will work with any­one who can of­fer us a place,” he said.

A 108-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion has been sub­mit­ted to Can­ning City Coun­cil re­quest­ing as­sis­tance to find a new home for the work­shop and the char­i­ta­ble op­er­a­tion.

Mr Manalac made a fur­ther ap­peal for sup­port at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing, where he asked specif­i­cally about the short-term use of Can­ning Ten­nis Club and South Bent­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

“A cou­ple of years here would buy time for Santa’s Work­shop to find a more per­ma­nent place,” he said.

Can­ning com­mu­nity and com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Garry Adams said the coun­cil had at­tempted to find a fa­cil­ity that matched the group’s needs but there were none avail­able.

He also said coun­cil staff had sug­gested other or­gan­i­sa­tions that might be able to help.

The plight is such that Mr Manalac, who is pre­par­ing for a four-week Euro­pean hol­i­day, will seek di­vine in­ter­ven­tion as well as com­mu­nity help.

“We are chas­ing the north­ern lights and we will also be pray­ing in Rome for Santa’s Work­shop,” he said.

■ Any­one able to of­fer sup­port can email san­taswa@hot­ or call work­shop rep­re­sen­ta­tives Lynn on 9450 2047 or Heather on 9451 4241.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d487867

Li­ai­son of­fi­cer and vice-pres­i­dent of the new Santa’s Work­shop, Pablo Manalac, with work­shop su­per­vi­sor Jimmy Baba­eff.

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