Centre upgrade: Jennifer shares her excitement
December 5, 2022
Why have so many people worked so hard to upgrade the Strathmore Ave Community Centre, and what difference will it make for the community?
With the construction now nearing completion, and our Givealittle fundraising campaign for new furniture and fittings live, we asked Programme Manager, Jennifer Mason, what difference the revitalised spaces will make for the community.
Raewin Tipene-Clarke (trustee) with Jennifer (right)
Jennifer, your focus is on developing partnerships to run events and services for the Strathmore Park community. What will the new centre, and the furnishings we’re raising money for, mean for the people you work with?
This will be a purpose-built space for our community and there’s real excitement about it.
We'll be able to have a wider range of activities. I can imagine the pride, and even joy, of people gathering in the new, beautiful space.
Leading up to the opening, what are you working on?
I’m plannning a series of opening events (sometime in March) that will reflect the vibrancy and diversity of Strathmore Park. Watch this space!
I also want to ensure that the ongoing services and events we create match the quality of the new building. I’m coordinating partnerships with organisations, artists and other providers to bring new events and services to the centre.
In particular, there’s a health focus. If Covid taught us anything, it’s that people are more likely to engage with the healthcare system in their own community, resulting in significant short and long-term health benefits. Our vaccination programme at the community centre saw big numbers because people go where they are comfortable.
As much as possible, we want to bring providers in so people can have their needs met in their own community. With a designated clinic room in the new centre, we can look at doing this more.
The purpose-designed spaces also mean we’ll be hosting multiple groups at the same time, which wasn’t possible before – for example, there could be a midwife in the clinic room while there’s a yoga or dance class in the main hall.
I want to ensure our events are interesting to a broad range of the community. Bringing together people from different backgrounds and walks of life to do the same thing means they go on a journey together, rather than separately.
Music is a great example of this and so are cooking classes. The new kitchen and lounge will open up opportunities for a range of people to learn a new skill together, and more people will want to engage with us because it will be so nice in there!
Will your flagship event, Freshen Up, continue?
We've invited the community to contribute to the furniture and fittings for the new community centre. Thank you for your support so far and please help us spread the word that there's still time to donate to the Givealittle campaign.