The Centre was formed to foster the interests of the residents of Welcome Bay and neighbouring suburbs, establishing a community-based facility, including youth activities and support programmes, adult education, advice and assistance, and the management and operation of a centrally located community meeting and drop-in centre.
The Centre is active in improving the wellbeing of our community, providing 100% commitment to the community. On a day-to-day basis, the Centre provides an info site and support referral centre, budget and advisory services, yoga group, and a facility for hire. The Centre supports and facilitates the organisation of an annual family event at Tye Park. This annual event brings the community together to celebrate our unique world, to unite families and friends in a festive atmosphere in a beautiful location.
How do we define community? There are lots of ways to define community, including by geography and place.* Everyone who lives, works, plays, cares and invests in a ‘place’ shares common elements and has a unique understanding of that area’s past, present and future. People in a community usually have a shared vested interest in creating a place that, for example, they safely raise children, grow a business, go to work, or enjoy the environment.
Early in 2015, the Acorn Foundation commissioned some local research on community and the result was the Western Bay of Plenty’s Vital Signs® Report. “Vital Signs® is an initiative measuring the vitality of a region; identifying trends, strengths, and areas for improvement.” This report looked at 12 of the various elements that make up the community, such as Arts & Culture, Belonging & Engagement, Getting Around, the Gap between Rich & Poor, Safety and Sport & Recreation. Overall, the participants in this research assessed the Bay region average, meaning that additional effort should be made.
* Inspiring Communities, Learning by Doing. Community-led Change in Aotearoa NZ. 2013
Belonging & Engagement
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini ke
My strength doesn’t come from me alone but also from others
Belonging and engagement comes from having opportunities to get involved with your community, having a voice in local decisions and feeling supported by your community. The residents least satisfied with belonging and engagement in the Vital Signs® Report were of the Welcome Bay – Te Papa Ward.
The Community Centre has taken this message on board and embarking on various events and activities to enable better communication with the community and to provide more opportunities to engage with one another.