Fam­ily day a chance for com­mu­nity

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

PEN­RITH Coun­cil will host a free fam­ily fun day in North St Marys on Satur­day as part of the build-up to the launch of the North St Marys Neigh­bour­hood Re­newal pro­gram.

Res­i­dents, busi­ness own­ers, faith groups and ser­vices will form a team to de­velop strate­gies to im­prove the sub­urb.

The coun­cil has in­vited fam­i­lies from 11am-2pm to gather to­gether at Wat­tle St Park for a day of fun and com­mu­nity build­ing.

There will be a free bar­be­cue, jump­ing cas­tle, giant games, art and mu­sic.

Coun­cil neigh­bour­hood re­newal pro­grams co-or­di­na­tor Heather Chaf­fey said the events would build to­wards a sus­tained, com­mu­nity-led project in North St Marys.

“My team has been run­ning a se­ries of small events,” Ms Chaf­fey said.

“Those are de­signed to meet res­i­dents and talk to them about set­ting up a lo­cal team. And that lo­cal team is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween res­i­dents, com­mun- ity ser­vices, faith groups, busi­nesses and coun­cil and state agen­cies.”

Re­newal projects are tar­geted at older, es­tab­lished sub­urbs that don’t al­ways get the same in­jec­tion of life that new sub­urbs get.

“The idea is what­ever the things res­i­dents would like to see strength­ened in the com­mu­nity, the pos­i­tive things as well as things they want to see im­proved, be­come an agenda for them to work on,” Ms Caf­fey said.

On Thurs­day af­ter­noon an art and games af­ter­noon was held at the park, giv­ing chil­dren a chance to play and par­ents a chance to tell the coun­cil about com­mu­nity needs.

At smaller events, res­i­dents have talked to Pen­rith Coun­cil about how im­por­tant schools are as com­mu­nity hubs, hav­ing more free events and ser­vices for young fam­i­lies in the area, and ways to give a brighter fu­ture to young peo­ple.

“Peo­ple are also in­ter­ested in the shop­ping cen­tre,” Ms Chaf­fey said. “The amenity of it and what’s avail­able – they are very pas­sion­ate about their shops.”

Heather Chaf­fey with St Marys North Pub­lic School stu­dents Ri­ley Pol­lard and Jor­dan Sant.

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