11 Jan 2024
Mt Beauty Neighbourhood Centre leads a new community heatwave pilot
Mt Beauty Neighbourhood Centre (MBNC) is one of six neighbourhood houses in the Upper Murray Network that participated in the Network's Bushfire Recovery project, Enabling Communities: from the heart of the community. For MBNC, that project led to the setting up of the community-driven "Keep Calm Committee" which, along with MBNC, has worked tirelessly at raising community awareness of bushfire planning and preparation. This is one of a number of community initiatives facilitated by the Centre.
"We know the summer ahead is going to be hot, said MBNC Manager, Trish Dixon. "We're currently working on a community-wide pilot project to help people prepare for the expected heatwaves, and provide cool spaces across the Mt Beauty and Tawonga communities for people to go to if they don't have sufficient cooling in their own homes.
"Potential partners in this pilot include the Men's Shed, U3A, the Senior Citizens and Tawonga District Community Association. There's still a lot of work to be done to firm up the locations, the roles of the different partners, and the logistics during heatwave days, but the concept has received a lot of support across the community."
"Everything we do here is working toward our purpose of "Community supporting Community," said Trish. "For example, we've run a few community picnics, and instead of catering for it ourselves we invite community groups to do the meals as a fundraiser for their group. It's great to be able to share this around."
The recent re-roofing of the building and renovation of the MBNC kitchen, officially opened at an event in late September, means the Centre will be better placed to support the community with meals and other services in an emergency event. "We've been doing this for awhile now, but with the new kitchen we'll be able to produce more meals and do it more efficiently," said Trish.
The level of support received by the Centre for the recent renovations is an indicator of how treasured the organisation is by the community. "As well as much needed (and greatly appreciated) financial support, people came and helped pull up tiles, move furniture, and paint," said Trish. "Many of the contractors that worked on the re-roofing and kitchen installation did additional work that they didn't charge us for. It was a wonderful community effort."