Revamped Garden House

The Inclusive Classroom
February 6, 2018
Raising The Bar
March 23, 2018

23 February 2018

Community Support Leads To Revamped Garden House

Thanks to community support, the Garden House on Rawson Avenue has undergone significant refurbishments to make it more accessible and comfortable for the Sylvanvale community hub based at the site.

To celebrate the newly refurbished Garden House, a relaunch morning tea was held on Friday 23 February 2018. Guests included Member for Heathcote, Mr Lee Evans MP and Mayor of Sutherland Shire Council, Councillor Carmelo Pesce.

Sylvanvale has been based at Garden House since 2008, when Sutherland Shire Council gave them access to the Council-owned house and garage. However, the site was never built for that purpose, and accessibility issues – as well as the age of the building – had become increasingly problematic.


In 2017 Sylvanvale made the Garden House renovation one of its big fundraising goals for the year. At its Cocktail Party in June – because of the incredible generosity of its supporters, families and the community – Sylvanvale raised $62,000 towards the revamp. Later in the year Sylvanvale received a Stronger Communities Partner Grant from The Honourable Craig Kelly, MP, to pay for the Garden House accessible bathroom.


From September 2017 until November 2017 the site underwent refurbishments, which included the installation of a large accessible ramp and an accessible bathroom, a more practical kitchen, fixing of outdoor drainage issues and new outdoor pavers. Since moving back into the site, the Sylvanvale team has continued to make improvements such as putting in a new air conditioner and new furniture.


Sylvanvale CEO Leanne Fretten said, “We are very grateful to everyone who has helped make an accessible Garden House a reality. It is because of the support of so many people that we have this fantastic site for the people we support,” she said.


“The upgrades have made a big difference to the lives of the people who come here. It is now a place of true inclusion and is also testament to what can be achieved when the community works together.”

If you or someone you know is interested in attending Sylvanvale’s Garden House Community Hub, please call Sylvanvale’s Customer Service Team on 1300 244 577.



About Sylvanvale
Sylvanvale Foundation was formed in 1947 when a group of parents united to form an organisation that would give their children with a disability a better quality of life through access to education and social inclusion. Today we support over 750 children and adults with intellectual disability from a range of cultural backgrounds across Sydney and the Blue Mountains to live and participate in their community, as they choose.

For more information or to organise an interview or photo opportunity, please contact Andrea MacKay, Media & Communications Specialist, Sylvanvale, ph 0401 977 096, 8536 0112 or email