What are we celebrating?
The past week we’ve been excited to participate in Neighbourhood Centre Week and celebrate and recognise the hard work of the 1000+ Neighbourhood Centres and Houses across Australia. This year’s theme was closely aligned with our vision and values: ‘locals connecting locals’. As a locally based organisation, we pride ourselves on connecting local communities and ensuring that people who are socially isolated can find community, friendship, and genuine connections in their local area.
What did we get up to?
This week was packed with activities, some we would normally see in our day to day, and others, an extra treat. We met some new faces and braved the cold on Monday and Tuesday at our Maroubra and Bondi Junction Community Hubs by hosting BBQ’s outside. Our team were able to connect with people from the community that we sometimes wouldn’t see as we handed out free sausage sizzles for all!
Each week we head over to Outreach at South Coogee on Wednesday and Namatjira on Thursday. To celebrate Neighbourhood Centre Week we went specially armed with wraps and activities to enjoy together. We sat chatting and connecting. To celebrate Neighbourhood Centre Week, we asked what activities make people feel connected to other local members of the community. If you’re looking for some ways to connect, take a look at what they shared:
- Take the time to chat with people at the bus stop
- Join your Neighbourhood Watch
- Make sure you connect with people face-to-face
- Give volunteering a go
- Join some community classes and groups.
Similarly, we asked our older clients what they do to connect with their community while heading out on Monday’s Friendship Bus. It can be difficult to find new ways to connect with other locals, but this group let us know that meeting together on our bus trips help build and strengthen the bonds that form over the weeks. These bus trips are a great way to connect with your community and make new friends.
On Wednesday we reunited our English Conversation Group for the first time in person for some time. This was a great experience for all involved, our volunteers, our participants in the group and our Bondi Centre team. We were excited to see some familiar faces again. The group gathered in the Bondi Junction Community Garden for a special reunion class with cakes and some tea. Connecting this way, face to face, for the first time since 2020 has us looking forward to the relationships that will grow throughout the year!
What does this mean for JNC?
In our work here at JNC creating connections is our priority. Every day we look for new ways of working with the community and moving forward together. During this week in May, it’s great to recognise the work that we do and celebrate in a range of special, one-off ways. But what is most important is that we continue this work throughout the year. We couldn’t do the work that we do here at JNC without the local connections that we work to continue. It is the community that guides our work all year round. From our team to the community, happy Neighbourhood Centre Week!