Neighbourhood houses more important than ever
08 May 2020
Neighbourhood houses are playing an important role in keeping people connected during the isolation brought about by COVID-19.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan visited Heathcote Community House today to talk about the work they and other neighbourhood houses are doing to help people stay connected.
The visit also coincided with the beginning of Neighbourhood House Week which starts today.
“Neighbourhood houses across our region continue to be a place of connection and social interaction for many, even though a number of them have had to shut their doors,” Ms Ryan said.
“They also support their communities by providing essential services such as food relief, meal support, childcare, adult education, and providing key government services.
“Many have pivoted to deliver services online and are providing practical support to people who are isolated or alone.
“COVID-19 has made it difficult for neighbourhood houses to celebrate Neighbourhood House Week in the way they usually would, but it also highlights just how important their services are to the community,” Ms Ryan said.
“The lockdown means many of our neighbourhood and community houses have been finding innovative ways to keep communities connected.
“Heathcote Community House has been delivering cooking classes online and helping people use Zoom so they can stay connected. As a Centrelink agency, the community house has also been vital in helping people who are in need of financial assistance.
“In Benalla Waminda House is involved in the local Vulnerable In Pandemic group, and is working to ensure vulnerable people receive contact and any goods and services they require.
“Murchison’s Neighbourhood House has also been actively contacting the elderly and unwell to provide support.”
There are 13 neighbourhood houses and community centres across the Euroa electorate based in Violet Town, Murchison, Benalla, Girgarre, Rushworth, Heathcote, Kilmore, Pyalong, Seymour, Puckapunyal, Avenel, Nagambie and Broadford.
Photo caption: Heathcote Community House coordinator Vicki Forde and Member for Euroa Steph Ryan mark the start of Neighbourhood House Week.