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Saturday, 30 September 2017
Northside Community Centre
Community, common possession, or enjoyment: agreement: a society of people having common rights. These are meanings of the word community that I believe we as a charity have found by relocating to the Northside Community Centre.
Stella, the Manager of the centre, has in the time we have been there displayed all the actions and behaviour that reflect the above, and shown what it means to belong to a community.
In the picture shown with Stella and some of our members, Stella has prepared a meal of corned beef hash which she had made available to us all, served it up, and supported each person’s needs, requests, spending time with each one.
Communities have many diverse needs, such as regular social interaction, places to go to participate in activities which contribute to health and wellbeing, and people who counsel and support people where needed.
Everyone needs some or all of the above at some stage of their lives, and in absence of these fundamental foundations, communities can become breeding grounds for social dysfunction, anti-social behaviour, isolation, depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia.
Communities cannot resolve these problems by working on each one in isolation, but must deal with them as a whole, where each one is recognised as impacting on the others.
Isolation for example, cannot be dealt with just by enabling people to meet others, unless the interactions are positive ones where communication is effective, and tolerance of difference is accepted.
One of the major areas of note at Northside is that all difference is recognised. People of all backgrounds are made to feel welcome; activities are developed in order to meet recognised needs and interests, not to the exclusion of others.
This is a massive factor to be taken into consideration when running and developing a community centre. You must not assume that you know what people want, or need, but listen to them, get to know them, make them feel welcome, and then, and only then will you really know what your community needs.
By tailoring events and activities around needs identified, encouraging local groups to attend your centre, however small, supporting them, spending time with them, where able, will truly build bridges between your centre and the community, and help with sustainability.
In the short time we have been attending Northside Community Centre, it has been noticeable to us that the requirements for a successful centre, and a healthier community, are indeed being developed.
We as a charity, and attendees of the centre, will therefore wholeheartedly lend our support, now, and in the future, to that success. Thank you.
Harry Brannigan. Stepping Stone 2to.😊