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Council adopts new Neighbourhood House Policy

Pile of newspapers wrapped in string.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council last night adopted a new policy outlining an ongoing commitment to support Neighbourhood Houses in the shire and recognise their value.

The Neighbourhood House Policy provides a fair and equitable approach to supporting local Neighbourhood Houses through initiatives such as advocacy, in kind support and funding.

There are two neighbourhood houses in Mount Alexander Shire.

“Castlemaine Community House and Maldon Neighbourhood House provide a diverse program of events, activities and facilities that bring people together to learn, connect and contribute to their community,” said Sharna Cropley, Inclusive Communities Coordinator, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Both organisations operate at the grassroots level and play a pivotal role in community development, engagement and advocacy with a focus on social equity, equality and inclusion.

“Our local Neighbourhood Houses offer everything from community lunches, vocational and lifestyle courses, art pathways, computer literacy programs and gentle exercise classes, as well as friendly meetings spaces, wif-fi access and community gardens for people of all ages to enjoy all year round,” said Ms Cropley.

“They also auspice a range of other community groups and activities,” she said.

“This policy recognises the role of Castlemaine Community House and Maldon Neighbourhood House in enriching lives, improving health and wellbeing, and strengthening the resilience of the Mount Alexander Shire community.”

The nation recently celebrated Neighbourhood House Week from 10 to 17 May with a focus on bringing people together to help combat loneliness and keep everyone connected.

“At this time of social isolation during COVID-19, the programs run by our local Neighbourhood Houses have never been more important,” said Ms Cropley.

Council will now work with Castlemaine Community House and Maldon Neighbourhood House to develop a Memorandum of

Understanding to outline the partnership in more detail.

The adopted Neighbourhood House Policy will come into effect immediately and is available to view on Council’s website at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

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