Bunnings gives sport clubs across Ipswich a free kick
WEST End Rugby League Club president John Humphreys can't thank Bunnings Warehouse enough.
The club has been through floods and hard times but Bunnings has been there to help them through.
Mr Humphreys and a West End contingent attended the official opening of the Bundamba store and explained how Bunnings had made a major contribution to getting the club's facilities up to scratch.
"We painted the outside of the building and got apprentices in, and Bunnings supplied the equipment," Mr Humphreys said.
"Then they came in and painted our dressing rooms and had 8-10 people doing the work, which saved us a lot of money. We've done fund raising here for seniors and juniors with our sausage sizzles and they've allowed us to do that.
"When the 2011 flood was on, Bunnings came good with gear, supplies, paint and anything we needed.
"We are a volunteer based club and every penny you can save is vital. Bunnings has been a great support to us.
"That is why we are so happy about this store opening and we look forward to maintaining the association with Bunnings."
Nathan Robley, the Bunnings Bundamba complex manager, said the new store employed 147 staff members from the Ipswich community.
The store opened on April 28, had its official opening on Wednesday and ramps it up this evening with the grand opening.
Mr Robley said assisting the community was a major part of Bunnings' ethos.
"With the Lions Club of Ipswich-Redbank-Goodna we went to their clubhouse and put in raised garden beds so that they could continue to support community-based projects," he said.
"At the Bundamba State School we re-vegetated some of the grounds to teach the kids about sustainable living and we did four 'buddy' benches, which help kids connect.
"The simple explanation is that the kids are feeling a bit sad or unwelcome, they go and sit on the buddy bench.
"The buddy bench has rules so if another kid sees someone on the buddy bench they have to invite them over to play.
"I have a six and eight-year-old and it is something I feel strongly about, because you want kids in the playground to be happy and have a great day."
Mr Robley said he was delighted to assist the West End Rugby League Club.
"I think they were flooded in 1974, and again in 2011, so that was really special to be able to help them," he said.
"I really enjoy doing the community aspect of this job where we can support the local groups that make the Ipswich community stronger. It is not something you do because you have to, it is something you do because you want to. I remember coming home after doing those three community projects and saying 'I feel good about what I am doing'."