Hatted Orange restaurant Lolli Redini and five star winery Ross Hill Wines are joining forces to host an exclusive long lunch to raise funds for Mission Australia’s under construction Benjamin Short Grove; an aged care facility for the homeless and disadvantaged of Orange and Cabonne Shire regions.

On Sunday 13th November at midday, guests will raise their cutlery and wine glasses to enjoy three courses of sensational contemporary Italian & French influenced cuisine accompanied by matching five star wines from Ross Hill Wines. This gastronomic afternoon of wining and dining will allow guests to enjoy a resurgence of the long lunch while raising funds for Mission Australia’s Benjamin Short Grove, which is set to open in the first quarter of 2017.

When completed, the facility will meet the needs for up to 60 local elderly and vulnerable men and women who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, financially or socially disadvantaged, are in unstable accommodation or who lack the financial capacity and family support needed to access mainstream aged care facilities.

Ms Bicknell, who is based in Orange and has worked with the aged care cohort with Mission Australia for 16 years, explained that those over the age of 55 who have a history of chronic homelessness and disadvantage typically require more specialised support and integrated services than those residing in mainstream aged care services.

Mission Australia General Manager of Aged Care, Jill Bicknell said the event is a great opportunity to support Mission Australia while tasting Lolli Redini’s menu which has been awarded fifteen successive Sydney Morning Herald Chef Hats since opening in 2001 and Ross Hill Wines which has earned the five red-star rating for the fourth year in a row.

 “We’re thrilled to offer a unique experience with Lolli Redini’s and Ross Hill Wines in the picturesque food wine region of Orange to help fundraise a further funds to bring the Benjamin Short Grove project to life. We believe the aged deserve to have a voice and a dignified end of life, no matter their circumstances or background. The generosity of local businesses and the community will help us to open a much needed aged care facility full of love and laughter,” said Ms Bicknell.

“Many of the aged homeless population are sadly no longer in contact with family or social networks. They also often age prematurely due to poor lifestyle and face other problems like chronic health problems, malnutrition, chronic loneliness, history of violence and trauma.

Ms Bicknell says the project is a labour of love, with a veritable army of supporters turning the facility into a reality by fundraising $1.5 million for the project.

 “The support of the local council, local businesses, other support agencies and the general community has been immeasurable. So far we have raised $1.5 million and are seeking a further $500,000 to fund the completion of the project. We are very grateful for all the support we have received so far,” Ms Bicknell said.