Bridgedale, a historically significant property in Bridgetown that is managed by the National Trust of Western Australia, will be the new home of Tender Care, a West Australian charity focused on community mental health. With the upgrade works now completed, the National Trust and Tender Care are looking forward to beginning this new chapter in the property’s history.
Established in 1859, Bridgedale is an early settlement house surrounded by gardens on the banks of the Blackwood River in Bridgetown. This culturally significant property is held in high regard by the community and general public for its close association with the Blechynden family, farming pioneers who were influential in the settlement and development of the Bridgetown district.
After advertising expressions of interest to lease the property in 2018, the National Trust received a proposal from mental health support organisation, Tender Care, West Australian charity and public benevolent institution that has been providing non-clinical community mental health (psychosocial) services for a quarter of a century.
Recognising the important services provided by Tender Care to the community, the National Trust began working with the local shire to change the use of the site from residential to commercial. A change of use meant that conservation works and upgrades had to be made to the site, including universal access throughout and the installation of a new bathroom and kitchenette.
Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Western Australia, Julian Donaldson said “Tender Care provide important services to the community and we were thrilled to work with them to protect the heritage values of Bridgedale while facilitating a new commercial use for the property.”
With the new use approved by the Shire, upgrade works completed and the lease signed, Tender Care intends to move into the property and begin operations in May.
Executive Director of Tender Care, Lloyd Achard said “We are excited to work with the National Trust and have negotiated a tenancy that is economically viable for both organisations.”
“Basing our South West operations out of a property with a long history and strong connections speaks to our philosophy of providing sustainable non-clinical community mental health support. We are looking forward to working with the Mental Health Commission of WA, the NDIS and with the local community in providing some much needed services to the region.”
The National Trust of Western Australia took over management of Bridgedale in 1971. It was classified by the National Trust in 1997 and included on the State Register of Heritage Places in March 1997 (00241).
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