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Neighbourhood Centres focus on local support

Neighbourhood Centre
The team at the Gin Gin Neighbourhood Centre.

A spotlight is shining on the region's Neighbourhood Centres this week as part of a nationwide event celebrating the role the organisations play within communities.

This year, Neighbourhood Centre Week focuses on the theme ‘Loneliness: the solution is community', highlighting how the centres help combat loneliness by providing a space for people to meet and form meaningful connections through participation in community programs and projects.

Bundaberg Regional Council's Childers and Gin Gin Neighbourhood Centres have been involved in many initiatives within the last financial year to help provide support to those in need.

According to Community Services portfolio spokesperson Cr Tracey McPhee, the two centres conducted 63 community projects and events.

“These fantastic events include senior’s morning teas, governance workshops, Harmony Day celebrations, youth activities and more,” Cr McPhee said.

“The centres also hosted 17 community groups throughout the year and 30 volunteers through services including Meals on Wheels, transport, technology help and tax assistance.”

“This is a prime example of how Neighbourhood Centres bring together residents to supply information and support all under the one roof.”

Childers Neighbourhood Centre
Chloe Keast, Chloe Johnson and Debra Murphy from the Childers Neighbourhood Centre.

Staff and volunteers provide hub for community

Cr McPhee said the region's Neighbourhood Centres had more than 23,000 visitors each year.

“People drop by for a range of different reasons, whether it's to participate in groups such as craft, cards or sewing, to brush up on literacy skills, to play chess or just to have someone to talk to.

“The centres are community hubs open to one and all,” she said.

“I would like to thank the amazing staff and volunteers at each of our Neighbourhood Centres who go out of their way to provide support to members of the community.

“The work you do and the passion you have for your role is outstanding.”

The Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre, which is independently run, also provide support for Bundaberg residents from its location on Targo Street.

“It’s amazing to know that around 10,000 enquiries and connections are made at the Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre each year with around 6,000 people visiting the centre in person,” manager Corrie McColl said.  

“Each centre coordinates an interagency network meeting which is the main point of distribution of information to support services, agencies and other interest groups that exist to help people in the community.”