Home is not just bricks and mortar. It is community, creating well-being, quality of life and belonging. What makes a community work, and what do we do to strengthen it?

People are social creatures. We live in cities and suburbs with thousands of other people we will likely never know. Yet, our happiness and well-being depends on the strength of the bonds between us and the people around us, our sense of connection with our place of living and our feeling of belonging with the others who share this place. Our modern, busy lifestyles can weaken the ties of community and the social networks that hold us all together, and some, like the elderly or new arrivals in our community, who are limited in the scope of their interactions, are at an increasing risk of isolation.

From the first weeks of life to old age

At South Eastern Community Connect everything we do aims to strengthen the bonds between the people in our community. Young families, seniors, people living with disabilities and people from diverse cultural backgrounds – there is a program for everyone to foster a sense of belonging, well-being and quality of life, for the individual and for the community.

We support people from the first weeks of life to old age, with quality services that have the individual at their heart. But our people are more than their needs and services – we belong together as a community, and this organisation is one small but important drop of the glue that keeps us all connected.

Community Builders

We run a dedicated Community Builders program to strengthen our community and all that makes it unique. In 2016 there has been a lot of activity on the ground including workshops on consumer credit & debt, information sessions on memory and ageing and events such as a
wellness day during Mental Health Month, a fundraising market day for community groups, English classes, computer classes, multicultural bus outings and more.

What kind of community do you want?

​Over the past year, we also spent much time listening to the locals about what it is that they want for their community. We consulted by doing surveys at events and even just knocking on people doors to find out what it is they need and what kind of community they would like to live in. When we worked with groups such as playgroups, public housing tenant groups or a Spanish speaking group, we used methods such as the Harwood model of consultation to get the most useful data.

Events that bring people together

We have learnt a lot about people’s hopes and desires for their community, and we will look at implementing some of the outcomes in 2017. For example, from the Mental Health Month celebrations people have indicated an interest in continuing with various creative programs such as art therapy and gardening. Through the Harwood conversations people have often expressed concern for the well-being of neighbours and a desire for more events that bring people together.

We will respond to this through practical actions like Harmony Day celebrations, workshops on financial security & legal issues such as Power of Attorney etc., and we are already working with tenants on a community garden in a public housing complex.  It is important for us to keep the dialogue going with the locals so that everything we do achieves our goal – to engage residents, grow a sense of connection with our place of living, nurture a feeling of belonging with the others in our community.

Help Build your Community

Be a part of your local community – whether you want to help as a volunteer, have a great idea, would like to make new friends or could use some help with your daily tasks, give us a call, comment below, drop into our office and let’s see how we can link together.

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