The Whangaparāoa Community Hub is a partnership project, five years in the making, due to open in early March 2018. The hub is a space for community groups and social services to work together to provide a place of connection, support and empowerment for all Whangaparāoa Peninsula residents … View moreThe Whangaparāoa Community Hub is a partnership project, five years in the making, due to open in early March 2018. The hub is a space for community groups and social services to work together to provide a place of connection, support and empowerment for all Whangaparāoa Peninsula residents across all sectors of the community.
Through community and service provider consultation and public surveys, the following issues affecting the Whangaparāoa Peninsula community have been identified by Future Whangaparāoa as priority concerns:
• Isolation and loneliness – especially parents, new comers and older adults
• Family violence and drug use
• Suicide, family relationships, teen pregnancy and parenting issues for youth
• Increases in mental health related issues
• People don’t know where to go to access services and support
The Family Centre Feasibility Study (2016) asked Whangaparāoa residents whether they thought a community hub was necessary, why they would go to a community hub, and whether they would volunteer their time. Of the people surveyed 76% thought that some sort of family or community hub was necessary in Whangaparāoa. Reasons for having a central hub included:
• ‘Better access to services’ (89%)
• ‘Strengthening community connections’ (80%)
• ‘Growing the Heart of Whangaparāoa’ (78%)
People also said they would access health services, advice, community classes and training, and family and parenting support.
The hub is a partnership between Future Whangaparāoa, the Whangaparāoa Family Centre Trust and a Community Hub Steering Group made up of local social service providers and members of the fore mentioned organisations, working together with the common goal of creating a strong, connected, supported and safe community.
A 1-year lease has been signed for a retail space in the heart of Whangaparāoa that is both visible and accessible and large enough for a multi-use hub. The hub will operate as a pilot project for one year as we determine how best the local groups and agencies can share a space, before ultimately realising the long-held intention of a permanent, purpose-built community hub.
Thus far Future Whangaparāoa has contributed funds to contract a part time Community Activator to assist with the day to day organisation and running of the hub. The Whangaparāoa Family Centre Trust have secured 40% of the years’ rent from The Lion Foundation and are committed to securing the balance of the rent from other funding sources. All additional expenses including operations costs will be sourced through fundraising and grant applications.
The immediate priority is to build two offices within the hub where social service providers can privately meet with their clients. We also need to have signage made to draw attention to the hub and ensure people can find us. These two essential elements are what we are seeking funding from the AMI Community Grants Scheme for. Remaining funds, if any, would be used towards operational costs such as the provision of subsidised or free workshops and events.
The Whangaparāoa Community hub is wholly about connecting the community of Whangaparāoa to each other and to the support and services available, to provide connection, empowerment, information, support and co-operation across all sectors of the community, to realise our vision of Whangaparāoa as a place where everyone flourishes.