The Goldfields Employment and Learning Centre (GELC) Neighbourhood House in Maryborough protected community members from harsh weather this past summer by providing a ‘Heat Retreat’.

Some people do not have safe protection from the high temperatures summer brings so the GELC Neighbourhood House provided a safe alternative.

Regular visitor, Ann Close, said the Retreat was a godsend.

“I used it a lot when I moved into an old Queenslander with no air conditioning.” Ms Close said.

“The Heat Retreat really helped me get through my first summer in Victoria.”

Days of more than 35°C saw the GELC open their doors from 8:30am to 9pm every night for anyone who needed respite from the heat.

Ms Close said they created a safe and welcoming environment that included free Wi-Fi, barista-made coffee and other refreshments for visitors.

“I was using the Heat Retreat as a halfway point when I was walking home from getting groceries. It often saved my bacon because I would get sick from the heat,” Ms Close said.

The Heat Retreat not only provided cool relief from the high temperatures, it also reduced power bills for visitors and greenhouse gas emissions with their recently installed solar panels. An easy solution to solve multiple problems, all at once!

This winter, days under 10°C will see the GELC firing up its heaters to provide a warm place for community member to go on those extra chilly days.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) projections predict extreme heat days to increase over the coming decades in the Loddon Campaspe region.  To view the CSIRO projections for the region, please click here.

Visit the GELC Neighbourhood House website here to keep up to date with their services and upcoming programs. Be sure to check if they are still running under current coronavirus restrictions.