Neighbourhood Centre Week

Neighbourhood Centre Coordinator Anna Joy and volunteer Michael Feisst.

NEIGHBOURHOOD Centres around the Coffs Coast are celebrating National Neighbourhood Centre Week from 13 – 19 May, themed ‘Stronger Together’ in 2024.

The Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre celebrates with an Open Day on Thursday 16 May from 9am to 2pm.

Free coffee will be provided thanks to Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation and barbecue food will be available thanks to the Mentors for Men.

There will be baby care bags for new parents, art and craft activities hosted by Boambee East Community Centre, an art display from the participants of Voice Up Australia, a morning program of guest speakers and a range of service information from groups including the Community Drug Action Team, Lifeline’s Gamble Aware team, and the Aged Care Volunteer and Visitors Scheme.

Woolgoolga Neighbourhood Centre will be hosting their own event on Tuesday 14 May from 10am to 1pm.

The Lions Club will provide a barbecue, and there will be music from The Sun Clouds and free kids activities.

Aunty Deb and the Garby Elders will perform a Welcome to Country at 10.30am before a community blessing.

Meanwhile, the Neighbourhood Centres of Bellingen Shire’s Manager, Roger Horton, is hosting “a number of simple events”.

A BBQ and celebrations will be held on Tuesday, 14 May from 11am-1pm at the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre, and Wednesday, 15 May from 11am-1pm at the Urunga Neighbourhood Centre.

On Thursday, 16 May from 11am-2pm there’s a Community Seasonal Meal in Dorrigo at the Never Never Mind café.

The ‘Stronger Together’ theme of Neighbourhood Centre Week is reflected at all Neighbourhood Centres where many dedicated volunteers support the centre’s service delivery.

Volunteer Carol Purdy, who has volunteered at the Neighbourhood Centre for over eight years, said, “Volunteering at the centre has given me the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives whether it is connecting them with our free counselling service, supporting people with digital skills or helping them with essential food support when they are doing it tough.

“We also are well connected to the Coffs Harbour community services network and if we can’t help, we will know someone who can.”

Neighbourhood Centres on the Coffs Coast work to support communities by providing a welcoming and inclusive space.

Known as ‘the place to go when you don’t know where to go’, the Woolgoolga Neighbourhood Centre, Boambee East Community Centre and the Neighbourhood Centres of Bellingen Shire – which includes Bellingen, Urunga and Dorrigo – all provide a broad range of services mostly by a dedicated team of volunteers.

These include counselling, information, advocacy and referral, tax help, legal advice, help with forms, computers and other devices, low-cost printing and photocopying, room hire, art and craft activities, activities for families with small children and essential support with food and other items.

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