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Blue Mountains News

Blue Mountains Neighbourhood Centres Join Together for the Greater Good

Source: Wild Hive Studios
Posted: 2 Nov 2018
L - R: Belong Blue Mountains CEO and Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre Manager Kath Harrison, Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre Manager Peta Williams and Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre Manager Mick Barrett
After a combined 100 years of community service, the Katoomba, Mid Mountains and Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centres will join together under a new umbrella organisation called ‘Belong Blue Mountains Community and Neighbourhood Services’ in an effort to grow and improve the invaluable services they provide for the Blue Mountains community.

Initiated by the managers and boards of the three centres, Belong Blue Mountains has taken 18 months of planning and consulting.  Under the new structure the Neighbourhood Centres will be able to provide new and improved services to reach more people in the community.   

The three separate neighbourhood centres, Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre and Katoomba Neighbourhood Centre, were formed throughout the late 70s to late 80s and have always played a vital role in providing essential services to the community.

The Centres are hubs of community support and activity. Together they employ some 50 staff and manage an army of over 200 regular volunteers.  Their services include programs for children, young people, families and neighbourhoods (such as community information and referral services, social, health and wellbeing groups, exercise classes, playgroups, Out of School Hours service, community festivals and many other community projects), aged care services (including transport services, social groups, domestic assistance and volunteer home visitors), No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), palliative support services and disability services.

Belong Blue Mountains CEO Kath Harrison said this is an exciting new beginning for neighbourhood services in the Blue Mountains.

“Each of our neighbourhood centres strives to create a sense of belonging in the community. To be heard, to be connected, to be supported, is to belong.  The new organisational name ‘Belong’ was selected as it reflects the heart of who we are and why our services exist.

“Research shows that a strong sense of connectedness and belonging to local community are of critical importance for wellbeing and quality of life, as well as building social cohesion and resilience.  The new structure will give us an even greater opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in our communities.”

‘Belong Blue Mountains Community and Neighbourhood Services’ will be officially launched by Trish Doyle MP, Member for Blue Mountains, on Thursday, 8th November 2018 at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre. Susan Templeman, Member for Macquarie, will also take part in the official proceedings.

 
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