Hives to pop up across the state

EN­GAGE­MENT MODEL SPREADS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

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.”

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

The Hive di­rec­tor David Lil­ley with Cather­ine Fel­stead and her chil­dren Lexus, 3, and Jye, 5.

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