New neighbourhood centre for Terrigal

Coordinator, Tanya Kane, and Terrigal and Green Point Neighbourhood Centre Manager, Marie James

Terrigal will soon have its own neighbourhood centre on the Country Women’s Association (CWA) grounds, which will serve as a safe place for the community to come for advice, services, and social events.

The centre will be opened at a Community Gala Launch on Friday, April 16, organised in partnership with the Terrigal Bowling Club.

It will include information and service stalls, market stalls, food trucks, games for the kids, and entertainment.

Terrigal and Green Point Neighbourhood Centre manager, Marie James, said she is excited for the project to be finally launched and pleased by the amazing support for the event.

“We want the community to know what is out there for them to tap into,” James said.

“Everyone we have approached, whether it’s to showcase service information or to have a market stall and sell their craft is keen to participate.

“We will play host to a range of local stallholders, including retail, recreation, relaxation, youth, wellbeing, mental health and family issues.

“Everything is free, including afternoon tea with CWA ladies, the sausage sizzle, the food trucks, and the entertainment.”

“The Regional Youth Support Service will have their bus there with gaming inside for the kids, plus a roving magician, face painting balloon artists, and a disco at 5pm for the kids.

“There was a need for the community to have a hub or space where they can come to find out information, referral or advice in regards to what is happening in their community, whether it is of a personal nature, recreational nature or health nature.

“We just want the community to come together, celebrate, and find out what is going on in their community.”

Anita Hartmann will be one of many artists to perform at the launch.

The Terrigal Neighbourhood Centre will be a place for the surrounding community to access free services such as a Justice of the Peace, tax help for people who earn under $60,000, playgroups, a food pantry, and more.

James has worked at the Green Point Neighbourhood Centre for five years and said the demand for the food pantry program at Green Point has tripled, requiring them to open twice a week instead of one.

She said the Terrigal Centre would provide a place for people to come and access support.

“COVID has caused more people to move from Sydney to the Central Coast, forcing rental prices to go up, making it harder for people to pay rent,” she said.

“We call them the working poor, people who work really hard to pay all their bills but don’t have enough money to feed their family.

“Just because it is Terrigal, which is often seen as affluent area, there are always pockets of people that need assistance from time to time.

“You can sometimes get people who have large mortgage repayments and live in large homes but struggle to pay for food for their family.

“We have no judgement, anyone is welcome.

“Our food pantry program sources food from all sectors; Ozharvest, Second Bite, Coles, Bakers Delight, confectionary distributors and the Egg Shed (which) donates eggs every week – we are wonderfully supported by business.”

As sponsor, Terrigal Bowling Club will open its doors for free barefoot bowls to all attendees at the launch.

CEO, James Heddo, said the Club is pleased to be able to support worthy causes and initiatives.

“As a club, our community is at the forefront of everything we do,” he said.

“We feel very lucky to be in a position to assist local businesses or initiatives that may benefit from donations.

“We are pleased to have the Terrigal Neighbourhood Centre move in next door, and we hope this event allows everyone that lives in the wonderful town of Terrigal to meet one another and build valuable relationships.”

Jacinta Counihan