Fam­ily cen­tre in for long haul

Comment News (Armadale) - - News - Ben Smith

A THORN­LIE fam­ily cen­tre has re­as­sured the com­mu­nity they will con­tinue to op­er­ate de­spite fund­ing changes.

The For­est Lakes Thorn­lie Fam­ily Cen­tre’s fu­ture has been the topic of spec­u­la­tion fol­low­ing pro­posed fund­ing cuts to the com­mu­nity sec­tor.

The De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Com­mu­ni­ties pro­posed changes to its fund­ing sys­tem in June this year, which would see the same amount of money pledged, but fil­tered through two sep­a­rate streams.

How­ever, co-or­di­na­tor Kristy Camp­bell stressed the Thorn­lie cen­tre would op­er­ate next year and there were no plans to close any­time soon.

“There are still some on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with the State Govern­ment in re­gards to how our fund­ing will look in the fu­ture, but we will be op­er­at­ing,” she said.

“There’s no im­mi­nent plan to close any of our cen­tres at this point. Our com­mu­nity cen­tres have been run­ning for over 25 years. Re­gard­less of what­ever hap­pens with our fund­ing, the in­ten­tion is to con­tinue to pro­vide ser­vices for many more years to come.”

Mrs Camp­bell said nu­mer­ous peo­ple had asked them whether they would be op­er­at­ing next year and they had ex­pe­ri­enced a drop-off in busi­ness.

“I ac­tu­ally went to a Chil­dren’s Week event last Mon­day af­ter­noon and one of the other ser­vices said ‘What are you guys go­ing to do next year when you close down?’ and I said ‘I didn’t know we were!’” she said.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers have been hes­i­tant to par­tic­i­pate in up­com­ing pro­grams due to the false be­lief the cen­tre will not be con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide on­go­ing ser­vices.

“We did have quite a few peo­ple go­ing ‘What’s hap­pen­ing, are you clos­ing?’ and I’ve had a few schools say to me, ‘We haven’t pro­moted you be­cause we’re not sure if you’re go­ing to be op­er­at­ing or not.’”

Mrs Camp­bell said the cen­tre was cur­rently work­ing to­wards pro­vid­ing a range of pro­grams cater­ing for the whole com­mu­nity.

“Our pro­grams are re­spon­sive and adap­tive and we want to make sure we’re pro­vid­ing good qual­ity pro­grams to the com­mu­nity,” she said.

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For­est Lakes Thorn­lie Fam­ily Cen­tre co-or­di­na­tor Kristy Camp­bell.

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