Ceduna Community Hub celebrates anniversary

HUB: The Red Cross Community Hub team, with Brenton Niemz, Karen Gardner, Leeann Scott, Ashley Sharpe, Rod Short and Carmen Fricker. Picture: Aysha Leo
HUB: The Red Cross Community Hub team, with Brenton Niemz, Karen Gardner, Leeann Scott, Ashley Sharpe, Rod Short and Carmen Fricker. Picture: Aysha Leo

A year after moving down the road and opening at 9 McKenzie Street to a hive of activity, the Ceduna Community Hub is celebrating a positive first 12 months.

The Ceduna Community Hub came about as a result of a merger between Ceduna Red Cross and Ceduna Street Beat, with services provided by one body at the new location.

Manager Brenton Niemz said the idea to move was discussed at length with the community, as the old site was deemed no longer suitable to host this type of service model.

"The community embraced the idea of moving to a larger site," he said.

"They wanted to create a place that was positive.

"At the same time we partnered with the SA Department of Human Services and Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation to deliver the Ceduna Street Beat program, which has increased the scope, availability and reach of the important community service."

The Ceduna Community Hub is a space for people of all ages and backgrounds, from locals and people from out of town, to grey nomads and backpackers.

Since Red Cross has moved to its new location, more than 25,000 cups of tea and coffee have been brewed, 1400 hours of voluntary contributions and 13,000 connections made, and live changed in big and small ways.

Mr Niemz said it was a busy place, with people popping into the centre for a coffee, a laugh, to relax, listen to music, to print documents, for help and advice, and to access other support services.

"It's an open door between 8.30am and 4.30pm and people are free to come and go," he said.

"We have public access computers, WiFi, tea, coffee, places to hang out when it's sunny, air-conditioned and heated spaces."

The hub helps people attain their 75 hours for a driver's licence, provides transport services for both local and regional trips, Street Beat for people who have trouble accessing mainstream services, and works with people in the court system.

"It's literally a space for people to be in and connect, to access information," Mr Niemz said.

"We also make around 80 referrals to other agencies or services each month.

"A lot of the other agencies come in looking for their clients and work with us, so it links everything together - because in a small community like this, we're all working with the same client group essentially."

Mr Niemz said the most important thing was to connect people, as through connections people built trust, understanding, friendship and support.

Looking ahead, Mr Niemz said the Ceduna Community Hub was always looking for new ways to support the local community.

"For us it is about exploring and responding to the needs of our local and transient community," he said.

"We want to ensure that people feel safe and respected to discuss the issues that matter to them the most."