Freemans Reach kitchen surprise

Spirits boosted: Jasmine Franklin with her grandchildren Eliza, 6, Nikki, 5, Lillian, 7, and Rachelle, 5, in the new kitchen Bunnings installed free of charge in their Freemans Reach home. Picture: Gene Ramirez.

Spirits boosted: Jasmine Franklin with her grandchildren Eliza, 6, Nikki, 5, Lillian, 7, and Rachelle, 5, in the new kitchen Bunnings installed free of charge in their Freemans Reach home. Picture: Gene Ramirez.

A struggling Freemans Reach family has been given a brand new kitchen, free of charge, by a kind-hearted manager at Bunnings Warehouse McGraths Hill.

Jasmine Franklin approached Bunnings’ complex manager, Dale Searle, to enquire about a payment plan, but received a full flat-pack Kaboodle kitchen – including benchtop, cupboards, oven, cooktop, rangehood, ceiling light, paint, hardware fittings and sink – along with free installation.

Mrs Harrison had been forced to give up her job as a project officer at the Attorney-General’s Department in Mount Druitt after she took custody of her six grandchildren — aged four to 15 – who needed to be removed from their drug-abusing parents.

“My husband stayed home first to watch the kids, then when we got the last baby and my mum passed away I was chasing my tail, not doing a good enough job at work or at home,” she told the Gazette.

“The previous kitchen was appalling – everything was falling apart in it and it was unsafe for the kids.

‘‘I was at my wits’ end about it and something needed to be done.

“I didn’t even ask Dale for a discount. I just brought my papers in and said, what can you do about a lay-buy? He said to leave it with him, then told me he’d give it to me for free.”

MRS Harrison approached the Gazette to tell her story as a way to show her appreciation to Mr Searle, Bunnings McGraths Hill, and two Wilberforce-based service providers who also offered their time free of charge to help install the kitchen: GW & JC Marshall Construction and JEMI Electrical.

“The community should know what a bunch of great people they are there. When they came out to do the kitchen they made us feel like a part of their family. The culture at the store in McGraths Hill is really great,” she said.

“It’s really given me and my husband a real lift because we struggle all the time, every day, and it’s not easy with the kids. It was just the thing we needed to pick us up.”

Mr Searle said provided the kitchen free of charge because Mrs Harrison had a long record of giving back to the community, citing the previous work she had done in women’s and Aboriginal health for the Human Rights Commission.

“She has a good record with the community, and I thought it was a good thing for us to do for her so she can spend some of the money she has on the kids and give them a more comfortable life,” Mr Searle told the Gazette

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