Recovery and renewal
By Meg Hill
The Docklands Pop Up Neighbourhood House had been working to keep the community supported during the pandemic.
Now, the centre is looking to reopen safely and is asking community mem- bers to get in touch to help with local recovery and renewal.
Community development worker Jason Butcher told Docklands News Neighbourhood House had been attentive to community needs throughout the pandemic, altering operations as suitable.
“We worked up a community care register with all the volunteers’ names on it and had it ready for people to get into contact with us or if we heard of people who were vulnerable or struggling,” he said.
“For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been meeting up with our volunteers to go on socially-distanced walks around the area, it was brought on when the first restrictions were lifted.”
“Our volunteers are really excited to be getting closer to having the Neighbourhood House up and running again.”
Mr Butcher said Docklands had a large community of people who could be vulnerable.
“It’s particularly hard when they have little in the way of family or social supports here, such as international students and new migrants and these are communities with high representation in Docklands,” he said.
“Because of the lockdown a lot of people had their work dry up and some weren’t covered under any of the support measures.”
He said the pop up would hopefully be reopening in the next couple of weeks, with restructured operations to suit restrictions, and wanted to reach out to a larger part of the community.
“We do know that a lot of people have been hit quite hard and there’s a lot of people talking about recovery but I personally think there’s a lot of positive opportunity for renewal as well,” he said.
“It’s about figuring out what we can do better, not just what we can do to get back to where we were before, and for community development workers the last thing we want to do is talk among ourselves and come up with something that we think people need.”
“The best thing we can do is try and draw as many stories out about how people have been affected and the hopes they have coming out of this and to work with the community to create something to suit that.”
Mr Butcher and the rest of the Neighbourhood House team have asked for any interested community members to reach out to help with future direction. “It’s my thought that individuals and grassroots community groups, whether sports clubs, hobby groups, the community gardens, or any other social group with passion and desire to do something for the community, can have a huge role in that recovery and renewal to bring people together.”
“We’d like to hear from them, find out how they have been affected by the lockdown and see what we can do to work with them for the good of the community.”
Contact the Neighbourhood House at [email protected]