The Gore Kids Hub has gone from strength to strength since it opened, trustee Lisa Sanson says.
The hub opened in January 2016 and the final component of the project, the public playground, opened in January this year.
The three founding organisations housed in the hub are the Gore Toy Library, Gore Parents’ Centre and Gore Playcentre.
The toy library and the parents’ centre was growing.
The toy library had gained 23 new members in the past three months and the parents’ centre had 70 members – it had taken on eight new families since mid July, she said.
The parents’ centre parenting classes were always fully booked, Mrs Sanson said.
An increase in the number of organisations and individuals using the hub was pleasing for trustees.
The Meraki Midwifery service was among organisations now based in the hub, along with a regular yoga class, a free to under 25’s sexual health clinic and a chiropractor, Mrs Sanson said.
The public playground added to the hub earlier this year had been a hit with the community and also provided an opportunity for people to see what the hub had to offer, she said.
“It’s worked really well,”
The addition of a feeding and changing station for babies and toddlers and their mothers at the parents’ centre, which is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 2pm, was well received and also provided an opportunity for people not involved in the hub to view it.
The hub is keen to give back to the community that helped establish and fund the building of the project. One of the ways it supported the community was through Gore Playcentre, which made 14 boxes containing home baking, cheese rolls, tea, coffee, chocolate treats, a book for children and a handmade card to distribute to farming families affected by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.
“There is a big focus to give back to the community that gave to us,” Mrs Sanson said.
An emphasis had been put on welcoming new people to the hub.
Fellow trustee Bronnie Grant said the hub was standing on its own feet as a collaborative organisation.
“We are gradually decreasing our dependency on outside funders and working towards becoming more sustainable as a trust and feeding this back to the three founding organisations,” she said.
The three organisations carried out fundraising collaboratively then split the money between a maintenance pool for the building and related ongoing costs. The three organisations also receiving a share of the profits, which reduced the need for them to fundraise individually.
“Being financially sustainable is something the founding members of the trust feel strongly about, as we made promises to the community that we would not need ongoing financial support.
“This, combined with our increase in membership and successfully tenanting and hiring out areas of our building, make us financially independent and sustainable long term, something we are very proud of,” Mrs Grant said.
With the project completed and debt-free, the focus was now on growing the membership of the three organisations and strengthening the variety of services they had to offer.
“This has been refreshing and exciting for the committees of the respective organisations and allowed us to get our teeth into what is our core business and delivering that,” she said.