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More use of Community Link building urged

April 7th, 2012
[by David Armstrong]

Community agencies, particularly those in the health and education sectors, need to take better advantage of the Community Link facility to ensure its success, the Community & Whanau group was told.

At the monthly meeting of the community group collective held on Wednesday, the 19 people attending heard of progress at Community Link, which is based in what was the WINZ building in High Street. Community Link is being rolled out throughout New Zealand, and Motueka was the first centre in the top of the south to make the change to the multi-agency model.

One of the members of its working committee, Gabrielle Thorpe of Get Safe Motueka, that the success of the Community Link model lies entirely with the work and initiative of community, rather than expecting the core agency Work & Income New Zealand (WINZ) to drive it.

Gabrielle said the purpose of the concept is to get groups using desks at the building to work with each other, and to invite other groups to use some of the free desks in the building. They aim to build better networking between groups and to give users of services a 'one-stop-shop' experience by accessing multiple services they need more immediately.

"It's up to the community organisations to drive what they think Community Link should do and how it should operate. But we still need more representatives from the health and education sectors.

Several at the meeting who are involved in some way with mental health services said they would talk about creating a presence within the building.

Other news items from the meeting:
The Salvation Army food bank is now receiving a healthy amount of donations of food, particularly since Countdown agreed to provide around five boxes a week of dented cans and some foods approaching use-by dates. The community gardens are also providing surplus vegetables.

The community gardens reported impressive growth in the size and maturity of the gardens, with increasing numbers of volunteer gardeners and currently 13 private allotment holders. Its management committee has also gained three new enthusiastic members.

Get Safe Motueka is about to move into new premises at the new community hospital, after more than a year suffering at the old flood-prone quarters.

Renee Alleyne, who has been one of the longest standing attenders of the Community & Whanau meetings and users of the Community House facilities, bade farewell to the group as she moves out to take up private counselling practice at Tui House.

Andrew Bridge, the new manager at ATET, said his team are working on building closer relationships and widening networks with the community and businesses in order to be more effective in helping young people into the workforce.


Comment by Rin Sharp:
[Posted 9 April 2012]

I like this Community and Whanau networking forum. It stimulates enthusiasm from the ground level. May it continue to flourish and thrive.

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