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Charity sets up in former bowling club premises

From left, Orion Johnson, Beddy Otukolo and Ana Patelesio during a recent WELLfed session at Holy Family School in Porirua.

A charity that organises free cooking classes has found a home in Porirua.

WELLfed, which teaches families how to plan, shop and safely prepare low-cost and healthy meals, has taken up residence in the downstairs area of the old Porirua City Bowling Club on Hampshire Street.

The bowling club closed in 2015, leaving the building, which is owned by the Council, vacant.

Today, the City Delivery Committee agreed to lease the site to WELLfed for an initial six-month period from 1 August. This will give the charity a chance to establish itself in one location and expand, after being previously spread across three locations in Porirua.

Maintenance work to the building to prepare it for lease in the last three years has included earthquake strengthening, electrical work and asbestos removal.

The building has basic hall facilities and a commercial kitchen to use.

City Delivery Committee chairperson Anita Baker says the Council is keen to support WELLfed, an organisation that’s doing amazing work in Porirua.

“WELLfed has been operating for 18 months and has a solid reputation in the city for helping families manage on tight budgets through cooking and learning about nutrition, health and wellbeing.

“It’s great the old bowling club premises are now up to the task of providing WELLfed a place to continue their valuable work and I’m glad the Council is fully behind supporting their endeavour.”

The peppercorn rent for the site for the length of the trial is $208 and if the lease is confirmed after six months, will be $250 per month.

Following the trial, and if WELLfed continue in the building, other community groups will have the opportunity to lease the remaining space.

The committee’s recommendation will need to be ratified by the Council on 27 June.


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