Hives to pop up across the state
ENGAGEMENT MODEL SPREADS
A NEW approach to tackling some of Mt Druitt’s biggest social issues is attracting attention across the state.
The Hive, launched in Blackett last year, aims to become a link between service providers to foster collaboration and create common goals.
A far-reaching State Government inquiry into social services has recommended The Hive model be piloted in five areas across the state.
“We consider that The Hive’s simple yet innovative approach to service co-ordination provides a flexible structure that can be adapted to a community’s unique needs,” the report stated.
The Hive’s model is about consulting with the community to identify the most immediate needs and helping service providers to make that their focus.
Co-ordinator David Lilley said this collective approach had the potential to create real long-term change.
“We want to create something that works here rather than take something off the shelf,” he said.
After intensive community consultation last year, The Hive identified the immediate priority of helping all children in the Mt Druitt area to be on track in the first year of school.
Only 60 per cent of children in the Mt Druitt area went to preschool, compared with more than 90 per cent across NSW, Mr Lilley said.
“The idea is getting more kids into preschool. When we start to crack that we will cycle around again,” he said.
Catherine Felstead grew up in the area and is now a mother of two children, with another on the way.
She was attracted to The Hive’s different approach to transforming the Mt Druitt area and became involved in the community consultation.
“It intrigued me ... and gave me a glimmer of hope,” Ms Felstead said.
“The Hive is about longterm change. Within the next five or six years there’s going to be good change happening.”
The Hive director David Lilley with Catherine Felstead and her children Lexus, 3, and Jye, 5.