About the House
Neighbourhood Houses work with their communities to get things done, solve ‘wicked’ problems and support each other through good and bad times. If you have an idea for your community and need some support to get things off the ground then maybe the House is the place to come and share your idea.
We have a range of children’s activities and adult learning opportunities during terms and some school holidays. We support other local community groups (to have a go and we run our own little community building activities such as the community lunch and the Woodend Workshop. No idea is too out there. Come and talk to us and we will help your group realise their dreams.
Angela Van Dam is the Coordinator looking after the day-to-day running of the House. Angela is supported by Patrick Hocking and a team of volunteers on front desk and Karlana Williamson keeping finances in check.
Woodend Neighbourhood House Inc started its life as a short-term drop-in centre after the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983. Run by local members of the Red Cross, it became the impetus for a community-led recovery and support centre that then grew into what we are today. It became incorporated in 1984, open for one day a week; it has had many different names and venues in its 30+ year life. Its most recent home, as the Woodend Neighbourhood House, is the Woodend Community Hub, a space that was built onto an existing old house in 2006 and has delivered a lovely shared space for community use. We are open five days a week, we hire rooms for functions and meetings after hours and provide learning and connection opportunities for all members of our community.
Become a member
The House is a member-driven organisation, just like any other small incorporated association, and has a small membership fee that delivers benefits to members such as Wi-Fi access and a discount on a course of your choice*. We also draw our committee members from within the ranks of our association members.
Committee of Governance
The House is led by a community Committee of Governance, currently eight members, made up of interested and skilled community members. We are always looking for new members to join our committee. If you have a passion for your community, and want to see its activities supported and its aspirations fostered then you might consider being part of our Committee. Contact can be made with the Coordinator first, who will give you an overview of the role, and then pass on contact details for the current President and Secretary.
The House is funded through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Neighbourhood House Coordination Program funding for a total of 25 coordination hours. This means that the House has a Coordinator who works 26 hours per week (currently over four days –, daily except Wednesday) and to meet its funding requirements it needs to deliver a minimum of 50 hours of programing and activities per week.
We had on average 260 visits per week and delivered over 1,250 sessions of activity throughout 2016. We were supported by around 58 hours of volunteer time per week, from between 14-22 volunteers through 2016. Read the Neighbourhood Houses Victoria report Neighbourhood Houses Survey 2016
Strengthening our community by supporting other community groups is an important part of our business. We have on average 22 community groups per month who use our facilities to support their meetings and develop their ideas.
Vision, Mission and Purpose
Our vision is that Woodend is a connected community fostering innovation, respecting difference and welcoming newcomers.
The Woodend Neighbourhood House’s mission is: Continuing to create, build, strengthen and connect our community.
The purpose of the House is to provide a friendly, safe, caring, respectful and non-judgemental environment and offer services and activities to those most in need in our community. We will try to achieve this through:
- Providing respectful, caring and inclusive services to address identified community needs;
- Developing and promoting community cohesion through the support of community actions and advocacy around social justice and poverty reduction, using supportive mentoring, guidance and resourcing;
- Strengthening community and individual resilience through support, referral and advocacy for people in need;
- Encouraging self-improvement and building individual and community capacity through providing pathways education and training opportunities for those most in need.
*Subject to conditions