The Tatura Community House last week launched a campaign to increase its core funding from the state government to expand its programs and meet the community’s needs.
Manager Leeane Button said Tatura Community House would lead the campaign in the Greater Shepparton City Council area and hoped other community and neighbourhood houses would come on board.
‘‘We’re meeting with other community houses next week where well be getting together and placing it on our agenda,’’ Ms Button said.
Ms Button last week described what the service currently received in terms of funding.
‘‘Tatura Community House receives 20 hours of weekly co-ordination funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and I work 30 hours each week and often do a bit more,’’ she said.
‘‘We generously receive $18000 per year from Greater Shepparton City Council and we’re very lucky to have (our) building.
‘‘The Occasional Child Care receives support funding from the Federal Government, but even with this and the fees parents pay, Tatura Community House absorbs around $6000 of associated costs annually.
‘‘It’s simply not enough. We would love enough funding coming in to grow our capacity.’’
Ms Button said the service was available to about 4448 residents in Tatura as well as the surrounding areas.
‘‘We’re a Learn Local service, so we provide adult education,’’ she said.
Ms Button said the Community House was also responsible for individual support packs, volunteering, leadership in the community, the town’s garage sale, child care, monthly markets, groups, partnerships, projects, fitness activities and information and referral.
‘‘We deliver 123 hours per week of programs to our community,’’ she said.
‘‘On average, 68 hours of volunteer hours per week were contributed to the house, as well as placement for a Masters of Social Work student, Diploma of Community Work student and Work for the Dole participants.’’
Ms Button highlighted that the service provided much more than just training and they often dealt with locals in crisis.
‘‘I don’t have a degree in counselling, but when people come in the door we have to respond,’’ she said.
Ms Button said these ranged from those who were hungry and in need of a meal to those who were fleeing a violent home situation.
‘‘When this person comes in — this person comes first,’’ she said.
‘‘So we hope to gain enough money to have a counsellor on the premises one day each week.’’
Ms Button said the Tatura Community House had been in communication with Neighbourhood Houses Victoria chief executive Bridget Gardener who invited her to become involved with their 2018 campaign for extra money for the sector.
‘‘As with other campaigns we will be providing support to the entire membership on advocacy and lobbying,’’ Ms Gardener said.
Ms Button, who has had solid background in grant management at her previous role at a not-for-profit organisation, said the community house actively sought funding from a broad range of sources.
‘‘We apply for federal and state funding as well as local grants, such as those from Greater Shepparton City Council or the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal,’’ she said.
‘‘But it does take a lot of energy and time to apply for funding with no guarantee that all the hard work will result in money coming through.’’
Ms Button encouraged local individuals, groups and business to think about what they could do to contribute to the cause, which could come in many forms.
‘‘It could be large or small monetary contributions, ideas, leadership or volunteering. This is an exciting time to become a member or join the committee of management,’’ she said.
‘‘We’ll be lobbying the government and hope to build the momentum within the community.’’