Support our neighbourhood houses
BASS Coast’s neighbourhood houses appealed for support from Bass Coast Shire Council at last week’s community connection session.
Representatives from neighbourhood houses in Bass Valley, Wonthaggi and Cowes joined forces to request greater involvement from council.
Social issues faced in the community include family violence, drug use, low school retention, and unemployment. Neighbourhood provide an outlet for community members to cope with their struggles and be involved in a range of activities and programs.
“Neighbourhood houses are there to ensure there are strong ties in the community, but many are not travelling well financially,” Bass Valley’s Roderick McIvor said.
“Balancing budgets can be extremely difficult, and even those breaking even go through difficult times. We need the new generation to take over, but the fact of the matter is the next generation isn’t there. We need council’s help to give us a more prominent profile, by means of a formal declaration of support.
“Having said that, we have been impressed by support in the past and the financial situation is not a reflection of council.”
Wonthaggi’s Jan Bourne said massive volunteer hours go into running a neighbourhood centre.
“We have childcare services, youth services, and frail age services. Neighbourhood centres are unique because the core interest is servicing the whole community,” she said.
“Our reason for being is community development and strengthening. The Federal, State and Local Governments need to recognise the organisations that build up the communities. We invite the councillors to look at our neighbourhood houses as a source of strength, and to support us financially and organisationally.”
Mr McIvor said not all neighbourhood houses need the same level of financial support, but increased engagement from the councillors would be appreciated across the shire.
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