The refurbishment of the Maroubra Center, part of the Prince of Wales Hospital, has now been completed, with significant funding support from the former Rotary Club of Randwick, just prior to its merger with the Rotary Club of Botany, to form the new Botany Randwick Club.
The Maroubra Centre ‘Inspiring Recovery’ refurbishment project was created by lived experienced mental health Peer Support Worker - Cheryl Wittingslow. The vision was to transform The Maroubra Centre, a community mental health centre which is part of Prince of Wales Hospital, into a trauma informed, calming, safe and empowering space for the clients of the service, staff and all who visit the centre
The genesis of the project commenced with an invitation for the Rotary Club of Randwick to attend a Prince of Wales Hospital Mental Health Area Board Meeting, which was attended by Greg Lill and Alex Weiss in March 2020, for the initial purpose of attending a presentation on the value of the client handbook for the Kiloh Mental Health Unit, that the club was currently sponsoring the print run.
Also attending was Cheryl Wittingslow, a Peer Support Worker with the Maroubra Mental Health Centre, who presented a very comprehensive visual presentation on the environment in which staff interacted with their client base of over five hundred +, in a very uninspiring, certainly not conducive environment.
It was at that meeting the Rotary Club of Randwick accepted the challenge to put back to our community as part of the Randwick Legacy, as discussions had progressed very significantly with the Rotary Club of Botany to merge the two clubs.  At its May Board meeting, a seeding donation of $15,000 was approved.
This donation became the catalyst for planning to commence and to expand into a whole of Centre transformation to become the inspiring, cheerful and relaxing environment for staff, clients and visitors it will become with more COVID restrictions relaxed.
The following are extracts from Cheryl’s report to the Rotary Club of Botany Randwick and to the Prince of Wales Hospital Research Foundation.
"Since the amazing and generous donation from the Rotary (thank you so much Greg and Alex), the project has developed into an amazing transformation of a centre that looked and felt institutional and now is more inspiring and therapeutic.
With Kim Millar's (Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation) help we also received support from Taubman’s Paint and Bunnings".
The courtyard now has: -
  • ‘Two beautiful shade sails. One is permanent and waterproof and with an outdoor dining table and chairs underneath it is a perfect space for meetings and groups. The other shade sail is retractable with great coverage in order to cater for sun, shade and rain.
  • Astro turf has been laid on most of the ground and we also have a space that is just concrete, so when we have exercise groups there is an option of a hard and softer surface.
  • We are to investigate accessing a boxing bag attached on the wall for more exercise options.
  • In collaboration with Bunnings, a donation of additional plants and more outdoor furniture.’ is imminent.
The entry and reception area has been painted throughout and re-furbished, uplifting the environment into a ‘more calming space’… ‘which is fresh and bright’.
“The video conferencing room has been renovated, which is where the C.T.O (Community Treatment Order) hearings and Tribunals are held.
This room is particularly important for the consumers as this is where they have an opportunity to be heard and possibly come off their C.T.O, so we have ensured it now has a warmer, more comfortable feel’.