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Graeme Cole, Public Affairs Manager: 0408 470 722
Wesley Mission’s new community hub was opened today with almost 100 people attending the event in the heart of Taree.
Wesley Mission management and staff, Taree Uniting Church, community groups and all tiers of government attended the opening.
Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner described the opening as a ‘watershed’ not only for Wesley Mission but for the community.
“Wesley Mission has found that by bringing together services and programs under one roof, we can improve the overall experience of the people we help to be more meaningful and effective,” said Wesley Mission CEO the Rev Dr Keith Garner.
“It also reduces the number of times a person or family have to share their story. It is indeed a person-centred approach. I have on behalf of Wesley Mission strongly advocated for this at State level.
“We also believe that an integrated service will reduce the time taken to respond to enquiries and securing appointments and improve client satisfaction. It also allows for better support and case management, especially when folk have complex and changing needs.
“A hub also minimises the amount of travelling that a client is forced to undertake to access the services. This building is also adjacent to major retail and within easy reach of other government services.
“With shared services under one roof, Wesley Mission will also be able to offer greater service flexibility increasing the ability to offer additional and complementary services in areas of identified needs like mental health, child and youth services, drug and alcohol services, financial literacy, employment services, health services, housing, emergency relief, disabilities and aged care. There will also be greater information sharing between services, greater identification of community needs or trends
“This Wesley Mission community hub also has a broader purpose: to build community capacity and social resilience. We want to make it a place that the community can embrace and call home. We want it to be safe, warm and welcoming; a place that promotes connection for all.”
Wesley Disability Employment Services currently supports 89 people across the Manning, 68 in Taree and 21 in Forster/Tuncurry.
Our Out of Home Care teams currently support 87 children in foster care across Taree and the Manning. During the past three years some 136 children have been cared for through our Out of Home Care program.
Through the ParentsNext program Wesley Mission is helping parents to become job ready when they look to re-enter the workforce when their children reach school age. Currently ParentsNext supports 155 participants in Taree, 45 participants in Port Macquarie and 59 participants in Tuncurry.
Representing Mid-Coast Council, Councillor Kathryn Bell, said the opening of the hub was the culmination of dedicated workers bringing together integrated services delivered to the most vulnerable in the community.
“WM has grown over time not only instinctually and pre-emptively developed new dimensions of the diverse service needed to fill the needs of individuals and groups that make up our community,” Councillor Bell said.
Councillor Bell identified mental health as one of the biggest challenges facing the Taree and Manning communities.
She also thanked Wesley Mission’s ongoing commitment to the region which has spanned almost 20 years.
“Our broader community as a whole is for the better from Wesley’s service,” Councillor Bell said.
”Your continued visionary outlook with all the cogs in your wheel, you are really well positioned for the sustained provision of the many strands of services.”
The Wesley Mission community hub is located at 75 Manning street, Taree.