At its September Ordinary Monthly Meeting, Armidale Shire Council resolved to fund the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre to the tune of $20,000.
Centre manager Robbie Passmore said all her team were incredibly grateful for the recognition by the Councillors in terms of reinstating the funding.
“Council had provided funding for many, many, many, years, but that ceased about three or four years ago,” Robbie said.
“That funding was always in recognition of the contribution that the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre made to council’s social capital. It was also in recognition for the work we did in social inclusion, resilience and community well-being.
“The fact that council recognised the merits and voted to reinstate that funding, we are beyond grateful.
The centre runs on about $43,000 per annum. It deals with more than 25,000 people a year and advocates for about 900 members of the community who have trouble paying electricity bills worth a total of about $300,000 per annum.
“In an ideal world there would be a purpose built [building] and that would allow us to do social enterprise, with cafes; so having a salad bar in summer and a soup bar in winter,” Robbie said.
“Working with TAFE, working with job placement agencies, working with some of the people who want jobs [though] we’re not in a time of major jobs market.
“So there’s more people wanting to work than there are jobs in regional areas and Armidale is no different.”
Robbie said she thought the timing for a services hub was now better.
“I am a huge believer in working in a hub environment, but it has to be successful and you have to have the right services.”