So much on offer at community space
As the first date approaches, the staff at Ballarat North Neighborhood House invite everyone to enter their common room.
Beginning in February, the neighborhood home offers people the opportunity to grow socially by learning hands-on gardening and creative skill classes.
The small house’s program used to be structured, but coordinator Kristen Sheridan said it’s becoming a more relaxed place where anyone can drop by when they like.
“You don’t have to just come to class and go home,” she said. “It’s a place where people can use the facility socially at any time.
“We’ve set up new little tables where people can meet up with a friend for a cup of coffee or use them to work or study if they’re working remotely. We also have a chatty cafe on Fridays.”
A number of learning opportunities will be launched in the coming weeks.
“Anyone having digital issues with phones, laptops, tablets, computers, mac, pc or anything else can come in for free for an hour, ask questions, we will do what we can to help and if we can. t, we point them in the right direction,” said tutor Greg Horgan.
A Your Story course aims to help people gather genealogical information and then put together interesting family biographical stories.
“The Internet Cafe is an opportunity to come in without a reservation, access a PC or iPad, have a cup of coffee, bring a friend or come alone and get informal help from Greg, whether they’re looking for a house online, the need to learn how to use their Android phone or access myGov,” Ms. Sheridan said.
“The idea is that it’s social, with support to support it.”
The garden of the house is to be revitalized and Mrs. Sheridan invites green thumbs, experienced or aspiring, to get their hands dirty, exchange ideas and learn basic gardening skills.
“We want to keep getting more people outside and in this safe community space and helping us to create a vision and plan for what we want to happen with the garden in the future,” she said.
“There are some nice big garden beds out there that we might want to convert to wicking beds so they water themselves and we are trying to make them more accessible with paving and more seating.
“These types of activities are also done as how-to sessions so people can participate in their development, learn and contribute to the community.”
Ms. Sheridan is looking for volunteers and feedback on courses that people would like to see outside of the center.
“We love hearing from people who have ideas and things that interest them, because when we have a small group interested in the same thing we like to be flexible and set up other programs for them.
“There are a number of volunteer roles for people who need to volunteer hours or just want to contribute to the household in some way when they’re retired or semi-retired,” she said.
“We have roles in gardening, reception and social media marketing; different tasks depending on expertise. We will also set up steering committees.”
Computers and iPads are available on-site for those who do not have their own and all classes are held in small groups.
Visit bit.ly/3GQ8zYz for more information, to sign up, or to express your interest in volunteering.