The Waiheke Spirit Children’s Charitable Trust has leased the historic waterfront cottage at Surfdale Beach from the Seaside Charitable Trust. The trust, established to help pay for children’s extracurricular activities, hopes to eventually extend the 24-month lease says trustee Anne Simoni.
“The Seaside [Charitable] Trust is providing the space rent-free for two years but we have to make the improvements,” she says.
Waiheke businesses have already offered to help restore the cottage but Anne says the trust still needs many volunteers to help with the project, which will begin in June.
“We feel we can get this project done in a couple of weeks if we have the right team of people. Forgotten, unwanted materials in your garage or building site could be the perfect donation,” she says.
The Surfdale home will be used as a work space for meetings and processing applications to help island children with tuition for after-school programmes; hosting community events for young children and a parent and child tea, as well as for workshops and a venue for guest speakers for older children and parents.
Despite the island’s current accommodation crisis, Anne says that the cottage won’t be used as a habitation. “If there are renters there, we cannot use it for the community.”
“We are looking for volunteers to help with the restoration and upgrade of the cottage, donations for building materials and food and drinks for the organised workdays,” she says.
“If anyone wishes to help out they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and they can go to our website thecottage.online to see how the project is progressing. • Silvia Massa