Survey and funding for neighbourhood houses

(L-R) Helen Allen - Board of Governance (Volunteer) Grange Community Centre, Daniel Smith - Vice Secretary Board of Governance (Volunteer) Grange Community Centre, Hon Ros Spence MP - Minister for Carers & Volunteers, Mr Dylan Wight MP - State Member for Tarneit, Sharon Brown - Chair Board of Governance (Volunteer) Grange Community Centre, Cr Marcel Mahfoud - Councillor for Wyndham City Council & President of the Parent Council Grange P-12 College Callistemon Campus, Tamara Watt - Acting CEO Grange Community Centre, Keir Paterson, CEO Neighbourhood Houses Victoria. (supplied)

Neighbourhood house participants are being put front and centre in a new survey that will help state government better understand their needs.

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria will undertake a state-wide survey of people who access their services to gain valuable insights and help inform program improvements.

Funding will also support a tech upgrade allowing Neighbourhood Houses Victoria to conduct more regular surveys and pave the way for improved data collection.

This will help programs across the state to tailor their services and offerings to better meet community needs.

Each neighbourhood house has a unique offering, responding to the needs of the communities they serve.

Carers and Volunteers Minister Ros Spence said funding neighbourhood houses was important to help keep community spirit high.

“Neighbourhood houses provide a safe place for people to upskill, get creative, give back to their community, and most importantly, create meaningful connections with others,” she said.

“We know the true value of the service neighbourhood houses provide is immeasurable – it’s impossible to quantify the way they can pull someone out of the depths of loneliness and into a welcoming and nurturing environment.”

Neighbourhood houses offer programs and activities such as food banks, community gardens, arts and craft classes, health and wellbeing activities, government services, maternal child health and occasional childcare.

A number of neighbourhood houses have training and accredited programs to improve job skills and assist people in their career pathways.

The 24-25 state budget provided $2.5 million for neighbourhood houses to deliver food relief activities, with more information about these grants to be available in coming months.