‘Soul’ group for the hub

The Springvale Community Hub awaits its opening - subject to Covid restrictions. 209721_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Community members will have a greater say in forming the “soul” of the soon-to-open Springvale Community Hub.

A grass-roots hub committee of up to nine residents and community groups will collaborate on the council’s running of the facility.

Two councillors, a council officer and a Springvale District Historical Society representative will also be on the committee.

The facility will house a new Springvale library, café, meeting areas, activity spaces, art gallery and the Springvale District Historical Society as well as parklands and outdoor courts.

Its opening – which had been scheduled for July – has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Cr Sean O’Reilly said the committee will help the hub “come to life in the best possible way”.

“The Springvale Community Hub is a beautiful building with great facilities but it’s not the building that is most important.

“It’s the people inside and the community feeling that will provide the soul of the Springvale Community Hub.”

Cr Matthew Kirwan said the council’s endorsed hub action plan for the hub acknowledged the need for more informal space, more affordable room hire and a “community development focus”.

As a result of public feedback, the council has reduced hire fees by 20 per cent, Cr Kirwan said.

The council will also hire a hub community development worker to connect people and groups.

Spirit of Enterprise group member Jan Trezise, who was part of a major submission on the action plan, said the hub to be as “accessible and welcoming”.

“It’s got to grow from the community not be imposed on it.”

The hub community development worker could offer help during Covid-19, with people suffering traumas such as loneliness, disconnectedness, financial loss and potentially mental illness, Ms Trezise said.

“We were quite keen for community development to go on there, not just for someone to hire a room and leave.

“But for someone who is hired to connect people, connect individuals to groups and to services, and to support community groups to form.”