Inside Port - You've got a friend

Thursday 24 March 2011

Inside Port - You've got a friend


by Mandy Stone
General Manager, Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre

How nice is it to see the sun shining. Here at the Neighbourhood Centre, we have been inspired by the sunshine to have a major clean up.  Tanya and Jenni Sorensen are scrubbing and recycling things that have not been used in 12 months or more. Mainly to find space to store more things that we probably will recycle in the next 12 months.

One of our biggest issues is space, even though when we moved here we thought the building was huge, we are fast outgrowing our building. For that reason we have applied for and been granted in kind funding from the Cairns Regional Council to use the kitchen and a storage cage for the resources needed for our Tuesday Lunch and Friendship group. 

Our Tuesday Lunch and Friendship group was inspired by the number of people making contact with the centre, who had recently moved to the area, were not working and were feeling socially isolated.

Unfortunately for them but fortunately for us, our regular volunteer roster is full, ie we have enough volunteers rostered on the reception and shed at the moment, however we always need people to help us with events such as Carnivale etc.

So where do new people to town meet  other people, or where do people with time on their hands who want to give back to the community go?

The Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre Lunch and Friendship group is held every Tuesday and for $4 community members get a beautiful home cooked meal by one of our volunteers eaten together in a group and then the opportunity to participate in various activities and get to meet new people and have a bit of a chat and have some fun.

Activities in the pipeline include making little friendship dolls for families in Japan, and Tully/Cardwell , making a friendship quilt for the Neighbourhood Centre,  watching DVDs, playing board games, doing jigsaw puzzles, going on outings etc.

Two of our staff members are there to support this group, Tanya our Community Development Worker, and Belinda our social work student.  Other staff members and volunteers also try to attend this lunch so that new people to our community, have an opportunity to get to know our faces and what we do at the Centre. 

People coming to the group are of all different ages and both men and women regularly attend.

We welcome anyone to attend, but please give us a call and book for the lunch so we know how many people to cater for each week. Even if your not new to town but would like to share some skills or be involved with making the friendship dolls we would love to see you.

If you have excess produce, like lemons, pumpkins etc, we can always use this in our meals or to give away to community members.

Feel free to drop in or give Tanya and or Belinda us a ring regarding our Lunch and Friendship group.