JUST off Taralga Road down a bumpy driveway, hidden behind rows of trees, the former St Joseph’s Girls Home long stood empty and forgotten.
On Thursday, the chatter of children echoed through the hallways once again, as some 60 young volunteers pitched in with painting, gardening and general tidy up.
On Friday, that number had risen to an army of 200.
The young people, assigned to the work through their involvement with Soul Survivor ACT/NSW, were helping local couple Maggie and Darryl Patterson to resurrect the longabandoned building.
It was one of three practical local projects involved with the Soul In The Bush program, a conference where delegates from across NSW and the ACT travel to regional towns to serve. Volunteers also spent time hosting a Holiday Kids Club at Veolia Arena and revamping two large yard areas at Anglicare’s St Saviours Cathedral facilities.
It’s a partnership project with World Vision’s youth faction VGen, and was a perfect fit for the work of new owners, the Patterson’s, in repurposing the building for a social-justice hub in Goulburn.
“Soul In The Bush is a youth conference for christian youth not only to learn about their faith but to give back to the community as well,” Hayley Keen, of World Vision’s V-Gen, told the Post.
“V-Gen believes that youth has the power to change the future of the world. They are a powerful voice for social change.”
The facility, now called Liminis (latin for ‘threshold’) will include a media room, ministry facilities, a community garden and, pending Council approval, a fair-trade cafe and restaurant.
Mrs Patterson told the Post she and husband Darryl were beyond thankful for the voluntary work undertaken by the young people.
Driven by a desire to “sew into the community and give back”, they hope the facility will inspire others to live out faith in a practical way.
“The young people from Soul Survivor worked really hard and have done an amazing job of cleaning up the site. On Friday, there were double the numbers - 200 wonderful young people all working together to breathe new life into this significant building. We’re so thankful to them and the organisers for all they’ve done.”