Accommodating the diverse needs of people living on the Mid-North Coast has been built into the new model of service first implemented at Wesley Mission Taree, where accessibility and engagement is paramount and delivering services tailored to the individual or family seeking help is the priority.
The opening of Wesley Mission’s new premises in Taree is a ‘watershed’ in service delivery for the Mid-North Coast region according to Wesley Mission CEO, the Rev Keith V Garner AM.
Mr Garner opened the new centre at 75 Manning Street, Taree, which is designed as a community hub where a person-centred approach would reduce the number of times a person or family need to share their story and connect them to multiple services, if required. “We believe an integrated service will reduce the time taken to respond to enquiries and securing appointments as well as improving client satisfaction. It also allows for better support and case management, especially when folk have complex and changing needs.”
Centrally located between two shopping centres in the centre of town, the new premises underscores Wesley Mission’s long-held commitment to the people of Taree where Wesley Dalmar, Wesley Employment and Wesley ParentsNext are active programs. Recognising that clients often have multiple needs that don’t always fit neatly into one of those three areas inspired the ‘no wrong door’ integration of services into the community hub model of service. Here people can walk in during business hours without an appointment, and staff will engage them straight away as they take a significant step in seeking help.
Everything in this community hub is designed to facilitate ease of use: from its new location in the centre of town, to the open plan interior design, to private consultation rooms, to amenities including a kids’ play area, and spaces accessible for people with disability. This approach was defined through consultation with clients, staff and the community.
Taree is a unique community with a very diverse landscape of needs due to geographic isolation, an above-average rate of disability in the community, a disproportionately ageing population, high proportion of Indigenous residents with particular needs, and epidemic levels of drug and alcohol abuse.
Wesley Mission is already delivering services to the community to address some of these needs. Specifically, we’re continuing the work we began in the area 17 years ago with Wesley Employment and Wesley Dalmar.
“We want to make ourselves as accessible to the public as possible,” said Alex, Program Manager. “I’m really excited to support the Taree community by providing information, guidance and hope to people, either by referring them to Wesley Mission services or other organisations,” said Alex. “So much more than a new building, the new Wesley Mission in Taree represents a new way of working to do all the good we can.”
Since its opening, the centre has seen new relationships forged with local Uniting Churches. Wesley LifeForce Networks have begun the process of bringing together local individuals and organisations with the aim of establishing a suicide prevention network in Taree to address local issues. The Taree Wesley LifeForce Network will be one of more than 100 such networks across Australia.
Wesley Mission’s strengthened presence in Taree is one of the ways that we’re increasing services on the Mid-North Coast of NSW. Other services include Wesley Youth Accommodation and Wesley ParentsNext at Coffs Harbour/Bellingen/Nambucca Valley, Bowraville and Wesley Vocational Institute at Port Macquarie.
Work is currently underway to upgrade facilities at Wesley Mission Newcastle and to implement this new model of service, incorporating the broader range of services that are already available to the people of the Hunter region, with improved accessibility and ease.