Five years of supporting Ballarat East

June 22, 2024 BY

Party time: Ballarat East Neighbourhood House staff Liz Wade, Sarah Greenwood-Smith, Jane Griffin, Eve Bastock and Kay Miller will celebrate the organisation's first five years next week. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

A FIFTH birthday Celebration for the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House is set for next Thursday.

BENH staff are inviting the community to mark the milestone with them over afternoon tea within the Barkly Square atrium, near the cafe.

“It would be wonderful for the local community to join us to look back over what we have achieved through the enormous contribution of our volunteers, tutors, staff and community members and many collaborations with amazing groups and organisations in Ballarat,” said BENH manager Sarah Greenwood-Smith.

“We will have some speeches at 10.30.”

Ms Greenwood-Smith said there have been some key programming highlights since 2019, alongside their regular free and low-cost activities and clubs.

“One has been the strategic partnership with the City of Ballarat which has seen the delivery of our governance workshop series,” she said.

“It’s been a significant project and has had such an impact on a broad range of community groups, and that has a ripple effect across the community.

“The playgroup, which is free of charge, has been really valuable because we know how beneficial they are not just for the children but for parents for their mental health and social connection.

“We’re also really proud of the Ballarat East Community News which is a big project. We’re printing and delivering 8000 copies four to five times a year, with a team of about 60 volunteers, which is amazing.”

Ballarat East Neighbourhood House was first led by Kate Owen and stemmed from the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre.

It originally had an office at Woodman’s Hill Secondary College, with activities being led at Eureka Hall.

Ms Greenwood-Smith was appointed manager in 2020, and operations moved to Barkly Square community centre in 2021.

The team of staff has grown from two part-timers to six part-timers.

The afternoon tea is free of charge and will take place on Thursday 27 June from 10am to 12pm at 25-39 Barkly Street, Ballarat East.

Registration is required and numbers are limited to 50 people. Register at ballarateastnh.org.au/about-us/celebrations.

Questions and enquiries can be made via ballarateastnh.org.au/contact-us.