Celebrating Neighbourhood House Week

Published on 14 May 2020

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Neighbourhood House Week is currently underway in Victoria, and it is an opportunity to celebrate the important role neighbourhood houses and community centres play in the community, even if they are closed due to current restrictions.

The theme of this year’s Neighbourhood House Week is ‘Loneliness – the solution is community’.

Neighbourhood houses and community centres work at the heart of the community, offering activities, programs and services that support the objectives of social inclusion and address factors that can lead to social exclusion: in short, they help combat loneliness and provide the human connection that is so vital to health and wellbeing.

 

“Although we can’t attend our local neighbourhood house and community centre in person at the moment, Neighbourhood House Week still provides us with an opportunity to celebrate how the centres and houses have adapted during this time to continue to support the community,” Cr Sarah Carter, Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong said.

 

For instance, Angliss Neighbourhood House have been sending workbooks to students to complete and return in a prepaid envelope, and have set up private Facebook groups for each of their classes to stay connected during the current restrictions. The house also has a Street Library that gets updated weekly.

Braybrook Maidstone Neighbourhood House (BMNH) is running food security programs and is staying in touch with their most vulnerable members with regular phone calls. BMNH is also delivering fruit and vegetable to their most isolated members.

Duke Street Community House is running a range of programs online, and providing childcare for those who need it.

West Footscray Neighbourhood House is hosting weekly Zoom story time for the families that take part in their children’s services, Toy Library and Single Parents Playgroup. They are also providing weekly food relief delivery and regular phone calls to vulnerable community members.

During Neighbourhood House Week, Yarraville Community Centre is connecting with regular users through fun social media posts every day, including a very popular post to share a pic of your pet. The centre has also delivered some special home-made soaps to local houses and businesses.

Braybrook, Maidstone and Maribyrnong Community Centres are providing a range of their programs online, including kid’s music and cooking classes, computer classed, yoga and meditation, and mosaic classes. For those who aren’t connected digitally, the centres have been making regular phone calls to stay in contact with vulnerable residents and to find out if they need any support during this time. Each centre is also distributing a weekly newsletter to their regular participants.

Image: Winning entry for Maidstone Community Centre's competition, which invited local residents to submit a poem, a story, a picture or a photo to reflect a positive change they noticed in their home, their street, their neighbourhood. Poppy's owner added a little sign to their front gate inviting community members to throw the ball with her.

Maribyrnong News

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