Hannah Carruthers enjoys the hands on experience at the Karmai Community Children’s Centre’s playground area.

Testing out the newly constructed fort playground with slide at the Karmai Community Children’s Centre was Daniel Carruthers. Rg020117

THE Karmai Community Children’s Centre (KCCC) was presented with a $10,000 cheque by the Robyn Holmes Foundation on Monday, to help fund the recent construction of the centre’s playground area.
The funds specifically supported the construction of a fort with a slide, which is part of a unique and natural space for the children to enjoy at the new centre.
KCCC board member Rachel Carruthers thanked the foundation which was started by the Rotary Club of Korumburra.
She also thanked the South Gippsland Shire Council for its financial assistance, along with fundraising by the centre’s volunteers.
“As far as we’re aware this is the only playground like this in Victoria,” she said.
“It’s made out of all natural materials and it’s custom designed as opposed to being out of the box so we’ve thought about children’s development.
“We want it to be a natural environment that encourages exploration, changes with the seasons and is sensory as well.
“There are dry river beds placed in the baby areas and the older children’s area, while still encouraging the development of gross motor skills and all of those important things that children need.
“We’ve got lots of opportunities for climbing and jumping and swinging, and pretend play – there are little hidey holes and tipis.”
The fort features a plaque in Robyn Holmes’ honour, who worked at Birralee for more than 20 years.
Robyn Holmes Foundation chairperson Peter Biggins said Robyn was a much loved person in Korumburra.
“She had a lot to do with many generations of children. If Robyn were here she’d be very, very proud of this wonderful new $6 million facility that’s been put here in Korumburra,” he said.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work trying to get the funding and eventually it’s all come through and there’s this wonderful facility that will officially start next Monday.
“As a Rotary Club we started the Robyn Holmes Foundation about two years ago, and we’ve been able to hand out about $35,000 in funding.
“KCCC is such a huge thing for the town so we wanted to make a substantial donation in Robyn’s name because up to 300 children will come through this complex every week.”
There are still some finishing touches to be made to the centre, and it will be officially opened by dignitaries in March.