Funding to buoy community houses
COMMUNITY houses across South Gippsland will share in State Government funding for extra coordination hours, giving the public greater access to employment, training and volunteering opportunities.
Venus Bay Community Centre is the only benefactor in South Gippsland Shire, while in Bass Coast Shire, Inverloch Community House, Bass Valley Community Group and Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre at Mitchell House benefited.
All houses received $14,760 each to now provide 25 coordination hours a week.
The additional coordination hours will help staff and volunteers provide activities and services such as language classes, computer tutoring, health and wellbeing activities, life skills lessons and self-help.
Gippsland Regional Neighbourhood Houses Group Inc, which services Bass Coast and South Gippsland shires, will benefit from extra networker hours.
Victoria has more than 400 neighbourhood houses across the state within 16 networks. Neighbourhood house networkers have responsibility for supporting houses to ensure the community is getting the best service possible.
Eastern Victoria Region MLC Harriet Shing said, “Neighbourhood houses are a wonderful part of Victoria, including here in Gippsland.
“From gardening lessons to IT training, there’s always support, advice and a helping hand to be found at neighbourhood houses. It is wonderful to be able to increase their funding.”
Venus Bay Community Centre coordinator Alyson Skinner said the funding increase was the result of a campaign spanning four years.
“We will be able to open another day and put resources into other programs and events as determined by the community,” she said, citing activities for young people and improved transport as possible items.
Leongatha Community House coordinator Eunice Donovan was pleased the community of Venus Bay would receive extra funding.
“How wonderful it is that residents throughout South Gippsland Shire now have more equitable access to support and assistance from their community houses, and I’m delighted the work of the sector is being recognised by government,” she said.
Milpara Community House manager Jenni Keerie said Milpara is already funded for 30 hours per week.
“The benefit for all community/neighbourhood houses will come from additional hours allocated for the networker who supports the Gippsland area,” she said.
“This will mean increased support to each house, as well as increased time for the networker to take our issues to the peak body, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria.
“Neighbourhood houses leverage $5.02 for every $1 in funding. Most organisations are given funding and keep it. Neighbourhood houses are given funding and we share it with others.
“Essentially, the communities where community/neighbourhood houses are located are the winners overall of the increased funding allocation, and that is a good thing.”
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