The Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre (VC), like most small businesses, experienced long-lasting impacts after two years of COVID-19.
Kim Rosen, VC Co-ordinator says, ‘The JobKeeper and JobMaker assistance saw the non-profit organisation make it through 2020 and 2021 financially. But our volunteer teams and our community events, activities and fundraisers were decimated’.
Undeterred, she says the team started this year optimistically, all set to throw everything into making a full recovery by the end of 2023.
‘However, the storm and flood events in February and March kiboshed our many planned initiatives to counter the loss of volunteers and cancellation of our events and activities,’ said Ms Rosen.
‘The Mullum2Bruns Paddle, one of the VC’s key annual fundraisers, had to be cancelled because of water safety and the anticipated $12K fundraising income will be very difficult to recoup.’
‘So we are counting on a big turnout at Old & Gold on Saturday June 11 to support our fundraising fair, food stall and book stall,’ she said.
‘The Vintage and Collectables Fair at the Memorial Hall from 8.30am–4pm, organised by the VC as a fundraiser, will offer a fabulous collection of beautiful old wares and vintage paraphernalia.
‘The VC is also offering festivalgoers a great range of scrumptious cakes, frittatas and soup at the food stall directly outside the Hall. Also in the fundraising theme, they will run their mega book sale on Saturday at the VC with good-read novels (the VC speciality) from only $1.
‘The Visitor Centre is actually so short of volunteers that it may have to close one or two days per week’.
Volunteers Co-ordinator, Melinda Bennett, is desperately seeking new volunteers to join the team for a rewarding experience as a part of the village community. ‘Anyone looking for a new direction after the lockdown and floods who can spare four hours per week, is welcome to pop along to the VC food stall on Saturday for a chat with our friendly team,’ said Melinda.
‘Alternatively, please call on 6685 1003 or drop in to 7 Park St, especially if you have some local knowledge, and enjoy meeting and chatting with people.’
Ms Rosen said, ‘We are appealing to locals to come into the Visitor Centre and check out the excellent range of Brunswick Heads and Simple Pleasures themed mementos and gifts, plus historical books, nostalgic Dr Suess products and retro posters, plus the best assortment of maps and brochures in the area. Everything is 20 per cent off on Saturday 11 June.’
The VC also has a small office space to rent with 24/7 access at an affordable rate including electricity and internet.
‘If you need a small space and would like to support the VC in this way, please contact me on 0412 316299 or [email protected],’ she said.
The centre is currently supported by the Hotel Brunswick, Crystal Castle, Falls Festival and Byron Bay Eco-Cruises and is also looking for assistance from a couple of additional corporate sponsors.
According to Ms Rosen, the Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre is facing a crossroads.
‘The momentum is starting to pick up now, but the hardworking team really needs the community’s support to get the VC back on its feet by the end of the year’. Any contribution to our recovery in any of the ways above to keep our doors open would be greatly appreciated,” she said.