‘I have volunteered at a number of places over the years and the Neighbourhood Centre is the friendliest one that I have ever been involved with.’ That was Angela Smith’s reply when I asked her about her time as a volunteer at the Bribie Island and District Neighbourhood Centre. Angela told me that she became a volunteer after reading an article in The Mini Bribie Islander which mentioned the need for more volunteers. ‘When I went there for the first time, it just felt so right,’ she said.
Angela volunteers at the centre each Thursday, spending the morning in the bargain shop and working in the reception area during the afternoon. She said that everybody is so welcoming and the other volunteers are so helpful, always checking to see if she needs a hand with anything. ‘As well as enjoying my time at the Neighbourhood Centre, I am able to be involved with helping those who come there,’ Angela explained.
Before moving to Bribie Island at the beginning of 2017, Angela lived in Melbourne and she had often visited her friend who lives here so she knew how beautiful the area was. She has previously been employed in an administrative role as well as in aged care and is the holder of a Diploma in Community Services which I’m sure would be of great value to her in her volunteering role. When she is not at the Neighbourhood Centre, much of Angela’s time is spent on her hobby of photography. ‘I have always liked taking photos but until I bought a DSLR a few years ago I only had a little camera,’ said Angela.
‘I am a member of the photography club and I mainly take photos of landscapes but I have recently become a grandmother so now I have a new subject,’ she added. Having had the opportunity to talk with her, I am confident that with the new volunteers such as Angela Smith helping out at the centre and the dedicated work of the other team members, those who come there for support will always be made to feel welcome and will be given as much assistance as can be made available to them.
The Bribie Island and District Neighbourhood Centre offers an extremely range of services and these include personal and family counselling, debt relief counselling, emergency relief and addiction counselling as well as access to Centrelink, a legal service, help with tax returns, fresh food on the Tuesday morning Neighbourhood Harvest program and there is also a bargain shop which has many quality pre-loved items at low prices.
The centre is also the venue for a variety of courses which are held throughout the year. Anyone who would like to find out more about what the Neighbourhood has to offer or perhaps would like to enquire about becoming a volunteer should either phone 3408 8440 or call into 9 Verdoni Street in Bellara for a chat. The centre is open each weekday except Friday from 9 am until 3 pm.