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Jack Allen Community Hub to be Based in Levin RSA

Jack Allen Community Hub to be based in the Levin RSA and Community Club

A proposed new medical centre for Levin is one step closer as Horowhenua District Council agrees to sell land in Durham Street and support the establishment of the Jack Allan Community Services Hub in Levin’s RSA and Community Club.

Earlier this year, Cambridge Street Medical Centre announced plans to build a large medical facility that will increase the provision of health services in Levin. The proposal includes the purchase of several Council-owned properties in Durham Street – Jack Allen House and car parks that back on to the Levin Adventure Playground.

Councillor Victoria Kaye-Simmons, who is also on the Jack Allen House Committee, said Council created a team to work with Contact Incorporated which owns part of and manages Jack Allen House to try to find a solution that benefited everyone.

“Jack Allen House and the organisations within it are our communities’ safety net. It was very important for Councillors that we work with the groups to come up with a solution that benefited everyone.”

Community Development Advisor Helen Hayes said the Jack Allen Stakeholder Steering Group was formed and a needs assessment was carried out.

“Once we knew what everyone needed we were able to then look at available properties. We reviewed nine in all, and together with the wider team we came to the conclusion that the RSA option was best,” said Ms Hayes.

Contact Incorporated Chairperson Eleanor Gully said it has been a great opportunity to fulfil our vision for Jack Allen and create a Community Hub.

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“The decision is supported by all members of our stakeholder steering group. It will be a building that is open and accessible to all, and it will flourish and grow,” she said.

Levin RSA and Community Club Treasurer and Property Manager Barbara Timms said it is great to have community groups moving in.

“In 2015, we changed our name to include Community Club, and now we’re run by volunteers. So, it’s fitting that the groups from Jack Allen are moving in – we really are becoming a community hub,” she said.

“It also means we are more financially secure. Our members can rest assured that this agreement will allow them to continue to enjoy the camaraderie and support we provide for many years to come.”

Horowhenua District Council’s Resolution

On Wednesday 11 October 2017, Horowhenua District Council considered the matter In-Committee and approved resolutions allowing the Chief Executive to negotiate the sale of 15-23 Durham Street. Council also approved:

• An annual grant to Contact Incorporated of up to $30,000+gst p.a. for three years to be used solely for leasing space at Levin RSA.

• A one-off $45,000+gst to assist Contract Incorporated with the relocation and setup in the new premise.

• In-kind support of a proposed Capacity Building Programme for Contact Incorporated and other tenants operating from the new facility in the RSA.

Following the discussion and decision, Council voted to publically release information regarding the sale and support for the provision of community services in the community.

The new Jack Allen Community Hub will be in the rear of the RSA. It will have a reception, an accessibility ramp, a disabled toilet and four distinct areas which can be fitted in stages to accommodate the Hub’s development in phases, a range of meeting rooms and bookable spaces for other community groups and off-street parking.

Ms Hayes said Council has agreed to seed funding and to provide officer support to help build capacity within the community organisations.

“By working together, we are creating a coordinated response to community need, working towards a shared vision to provide social infrastructure for the Horowhenua led by the community.”

Councillor Kaye-Simmons said now that the lease is confirmed we can now raise funds for the work ahead, and hopefully, in early 2018 the refit will take place.

“We are hoping local businesses will come on board and assist with donations whether it is paint, furniture or glazing. There are a range of resources we are needing to make our vision a reality. We want the whole community to get involved and be a part of the reimagined Jack Allen Hub. ”


ENDS


Notes:


Contact Incorporated was formed in 1971 when it partnered with Council to establish the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and a Community Service Committee. In 1978, a grant from the Borough Council enabled CAB and Contact to take over the Old Public Trust Building in Bristol St and money was raised money to convert the building into a Community House. For over forty years, Contact Incorporated has fulfilled a role in stimulating community involvement in the general welfare of the people of the area and encouraging coordination and cooperation between statutory and voluntary organisations in the Horowhenua District.

In 1988, Contact investigated the possibility of setting up a permanent community house, and a year later Council offered 21 Durham Street for this purpose, to be known as Jack Allen Community House. Contact secured a building from Kohitere to be used as an extension to the existing house and fundraised for alternations to join the two buildings. The work was carried out by the Youth Learning Centre as a Community Project, and Contact Incorporated provided voluntary labour to finish the interior.

Contact Incorporated, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Whaioro Trust and PARS use Jack Allen for their full-time base for operation as do the only locally delivered child and family counselling and therapeutic services, as well as Drug and Addiction support and Counselling. Plus there are several occasional user groups.


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