Barnardos are involved in a number of community development hubs around the country.
Most notably: Levin, Taita (Lower Hutt) and Te Puna Oraka (Christchurch) and Nuturing the Future (Cobden). Other hubs can be found here.
Great Start Taita – a community-led initiative
Great Start is a community-led initiative that continues to grow and thrive in Taita, Lower Hutt, since October 2007.
Some of the things on offer to be shared are:
- a community toy library
- a community garden
- a space for caregivers and children to come and play together
- spaces in the house for people to use for delivering programmes, including mothers support groups, ante-natal services, a playgroup, and parenting programmes
- space and support for organisations’ ‘working groups’, and meeting space so the community can take action on things such as creating a park in Taita, growing better connections between early years services and schools, building connections with men, grandfathers and fathers, and finding useful and practical ways of learning together.
Great Start is about much more than the activities that occur in the house. It is facilitating and supporting collaboration and connections across the whole of Taita, supporting existing networks, relationships and organisations to grow and become stronger as well as helping new connections to develop and flourish.
See Great Start Report.
Te Puna Oraka - Shirley hub
Te Puna Oraka is an early intervention service for families with children aged 0 - 6 years living in the greater Shirley area. The service has been operating since March 2009 and our aim is to improve outcomes in health and well being for young local children. We work in three specific ways:
- with families in the area who need assistance to access services
- with social service providers to enable easy access to services for families, and to engage service providers in contributing towards strengthening this community
- using the hub as a parent education facility.
Some of the services offered from the hub include:
- pre-school music sessions
- 'Yummy Mummys' - first time young parents group
- breastfeeding support groups for young parents
- play group
- baby feeding clinics
- nutrition/cooking courses
- ante-natal classes
- B4 School check sessions
- budgeting courses
- various 'one off' courses - Brainwave Trust; home insulation; community law; careers advice.
All the courses offered are in response to request by parents using the hub.
We are also involved in working off site, using local community places (schools etc) as an extension of the hub work. We have been actively involved in working with local organisations to improve collaboration across the area so that we work better together. This has had positive outcomes for many agencies and also enabled us to deliver collaborative health promotion work.
Levin Early Years Services hub – a community-led initiative
The emphasis of the Levin Early Years Services hub is on early intervention and a vision for all children to have the best start in life, flourish in early childhood, and support to reach their potential. The hub has three main strands:
- exploring innovative ways of connecting and strengthening relationships between Early Years Service providers
- understanding what families need to successfully raise their children
- exploring and facilitating a whole of community approach to supporting families to access appropriate services.
The focus of the Levin Early Years Service hub is supporting and enhancing communication and collaboration across health, welfare and education providers. It seeks to build on existing resources in the community and promote easy access for expectant parents, through to families with children under six.
Seven core service types are involved in the hub collaboration.
- ante-natal services
- well child/ tamariki ora services
- early childhood education
- parent information, education and support
- outreach services
- home visiting services
- supported referrals to off-site services.
- Specialist Family Group Homes
- Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR)
- Social Workers in Schools (SWIS)
- Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY)
- Roots of Empathy
"Because children do not vote, it is easy for politicians to ignore their interests, but they can't ignore us when we speak for children."