Creating an inclusive community
How We Connect And Support People
Our programs connect and support people. They build knowledge, confidence, skills and broaden access to a range of supports and services. They give people the information and resources they need to make decisions and take actions that are best for them.
- Food and other emergency support
- Information, referral and advocacy
- Deadly Gamambis
- Family activities
- Community Visitors support
- Free Tax Help *
- Legal Advice
- Help to fill in forms
- Computer access, printer and photocopying
- Digital Mentor Training
- Homework help
- Craft groups for carers
- Support for Adult Survivors of Childhood Trauma
- Support for individuals, families and friends who support someone with an addiction
- Creative Arts for Kids
- Volunteer matching and support
- Low-cost Hire of meeting rooms and offices
- Low cost rental list
- Link2Home Homelessness Service
- Petes Place – support for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
Sometimes people who come to us are not quite sure what they need or what supports might be available to help them with their situation.
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre is the place to go when you don’t know where to go.
Food and other emergency support
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre aims to provide support to our community members if and when they need it. This provides a hand up rather than a handout. We recognise that there are times when families experience difficult periods. Support during those periods can reduce stress and build the health and well-being of community members.
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre operates Fruit and Vegetable support via OZ Harvest. This helps to reduce food waste, by redistributing food to people and families who need extra support to stretch the budget and to ensure people have access to healthy food. Oz Harvest Fruit and Vegetable support are available on weekdays 9:30-11 am.
Emergency basic grocery packs may also be available. Blankets or bedding or other emergency items may also be able to be supported. Please call in if you require support.
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre also partners with Financial Counselling services and Wesley Mission to provide a range of different supports for people who may be experiencing financial distress. Some of these services are based on assessed needs or criteria. Please contact the Neighbourhood Centre to discuss options that may be available or best for you.
Information, referral and advocacy
We are a community hub. We can provide you with information about services in our community, including what they do, where to go and help you choose which might be best for you, We can provide referrals – and directly link and connect you with services that can provide additional support for your situation.
We can also advocate for you. We can help to explain your rights and support you in actions you may choose to take to exercise your rights. We listen and can provide support in a safe space. If required we can link you with additional supports such as Free Legal Advice, Free Counsellors, NDIS services or Financial Counselling.
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre partners with Galambila Aboriginal Health Service to support workshops and children’s activities that are developed to cover nine (9) weeks, strengths-based health-focused program for parents and carers to support Aboriginal kids to thrive!
Children are supervised with a range of fun activities while parents and carers attend interactive workshops in the adjoining main hall.
Meeting Friday mornings, this 9 week program is for parents or carers of Aboriginal children aged up to 5 years (but not at school yet) who want to learn more about their child’s development.
The program builds from one week to the next and aims to provide a holistic view of early childhood development.
For this reason, we encourage participants to attend for the whole 9 weeks in order to get the most out of the program.
The program runs from Boambee East Community Centre 9am to 12noon Fridays School terms only
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre supports and strengthens families. We provide workshops and education opportunities on a range of topics that support the metal and physical health and wellbeing of families. We have programs and services to support all families. We recognise that at times families need may need extra support. We aim to provide a hand up, to assist families experiencing stress to maintain positive relationships and community connection.
We support families who:
- May be struggling to afford food, toiletries or cleaning products
- May have unexpected needs and expenses
- May need emergency support
- Have experienced domestic abuse
- Who may need a no-interest loan through NILS
- Need free Counselling free Legal Advice or Tax Help
- Homework Help
- Volunteer opportunities to build work skills or confidence
- Workshops to build family skills, communication, health or connection
- Family inclusive school holiday activities
Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme
The Aged Care Volunteer Visitor Scheme (ACVVS), previously known as the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is funded by the Australian Government, to support quality friendship matched between volunteers and older people living in residential aged care facilities or receiving a Home Care Package.
The Scheme recognises that most people want ‘someone special’ in their lives and that connection is essential to an individual’s wellbeing, especially later in life. Older community members still want the opportunity to connect to friends in their community but the scheme acknowledges that some may be isolated and not have family close by.
Who can get involved as a Community Visitor?
Our volunteers come from a broad range of different backgrounds and give of their time for various reasons. All are understanding and kind with a caring heart and willing to listen; important attributes that contribute to being a great aged care volunteer visitor.
To join the volunteer team, no experience is needed and volunteers receive training to understand the requirements and responsibilities of their role, which supports them to undertake their volunteer role with confidence. All volunteers receive support from the ACVVS Project Co-ordinator.
The benefits for the recipients are many; they have regular, positive visits to look forward to, can share their stories and participate in activities, feel valued and active members of the community. The visits bring joy to their lives and ensures their twilight years are enhanced by the wonderful friendships made.
The program is of incredible value to volunteers too. Many volunteers do not have connections with older people because of distance, older people passing away or other reasons, therefore the connection with an older person also brings joy to the lives of our volunteers and they are provided with a new dimension of experience in their lives and a greater sense of satisfaction by giving their time to enhance the life experience of another person.
For more information about becoming an Aged Care Volunteer Visitor, please contact your local ACVVS Co-ordinator on 02 66 48 3662 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Free tax help
You will need to have a working MyGov account. Please let us know if you need an interpreter when making your appointment. We take bookings for this service from mid-June to the end of October.
Free legal advice is available every second Thursday evening from 5 pm.
Hugo is a local solicitor who volunteers his time. Everyone can access this service.
Advice can be given on a range of issues, including family law, power of attorney/guardianship, wills, neighbourhood law and some criminal matters.
Bookings are essential. Appointments are currently over the phone.
Free counselling is available weekly. Bookings are required through Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.
This service is provided by Counselling Services Incorporated (CSI) by graduate volunteers. If you’re having a hard time, your mental health is suffering, you’re experiencing loss, or you just need someone to talk to – book an appointment.
Help to fill in forms
If you need help to understand or fill in forms, writing a resume or letter, or setting up a new phone or computer, someone from Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre can help you. We have helpful volunteers available to assist you.
Appointments are required.
Computers are available for community use in our UConnect computer hub.
Computers are free to use and are linked to printers.
Sessions are booked in 30-minute sessions.
Printing and copying
We have a printer and photocopier available for community members or services to use. Team members can assist you to print, copy or scan information.
Black and white printing is 10c per page, colour is 40c per page.
Support to help you with technology
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre provides individual support for everyone, specifically seniors and people from First Nations or multicultural backgrounds to:
- Learn the basics of getting online
- Be safe online
- Talk to or see family and friends more often
- Build confidence using digital technology
- Learn how to shop online, safely and securely
Call 66483694 to book a support session or arrange a FREE workshop for your group or visit Events – Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre (chnc.com.au) to find the next workshop.
Digital Mentor Training
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre provides FREE digital mentor training to community members to improve their skills to be able to help community members and clients who are not confident or able to navigate or connect using technology as they would like. This training builds a combination of digital skills and techniques to support others. Anyone can train as a digital mentor. Providing training to people who are able to support broader community members aims to improve equity of access to services and ensure everyone can remain connected to their community.
If you wish to broaden your digital mentor skills, contact email@example.com
The workshop covers
- overview of Be Connected program,
- safety online
- barriers people can experience and strategies to help overcome them
- inclusive learning
Bright Sparks program provides the opportunity for primary and high school students to study and get assistance from tutors in a relaxed and social environment.
Bright Sparks runs on Monday afternoons during the school term from 3.30 pm – 4.45 pm. Healthy snacks are provided.
This service is run in partnership with The Smith Family.
Homework help is FREE.
Craft group for carers
Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre Carers Craft Group is a not-for-profit group. New members are always welcome!
Community members come together to work on craft projects of their own and other projects for the community. It is the perfect opportunity to share your passion, enjoy time with others who also enjoy a range of crafts and collaborate to bring joy or support to others.
Sharing their time and skills is very much appreciated. Just a few of the projects this amazing group have worked on include masks for the Centre’s Bright Sparks Learning Club, knitted items for newborn babies and infants and various Christmas cards and gifts for volunteers and local community members. They have been connecting and supporting our community for over 10 years.
Craft group meet at the Centre on Tuesday afternoons from 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm.
New members welcome
For more information drop in or contact us.
Support for adult survivors of childhood trauma
Voice Up Australia is an adult self-support group for, with and about survivors of childhood sexual abuse, neglect, and violence in all its forms. It is a volunteer-run project of Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.
Our focus is speaking up, exploding myths and raising awareness. We are committed to activities around prevention, support, education and advocacy.
The group provides a safe space for survivors and their supporters
Support for alcohol or drugs
SMART ( Self-Management and Recovery Training) is facilitated by Mid North Coast Local Health District on Thursday afternoons for people who would like support to manage their alcohol or drug use.
SMART is a mental health and educational program that focuses on helping people to recognise and change their own behaviour, thoughts and feelings. It can help them to makes the changes they wish to make including cutting down, ceasing, reducing harm or making lifestyles choices. SMART Recovery emphasises four key areas of awareness and change. These are:
(1) Building and maintaining motivation.
(2) Coping with urges.
(3) Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
(4) Living a balanced life.
For more information contact 02 6656 7936
For Family and Friends:
SMART Family and Friends is a group program that enables people to challenge their own thinking, communicate effectively, seek motivation to change and engage in self-care.
It is based on self-management and recovery training. It provides strategies to stay safe, seek support, problem-solve and set goals.
It provides a safe space for families, partners and friends, where they are supported and surrounded by others who may be experiencing similar concerns and issues.
Creative Arts for Kids
Creative Art and Craft run as a 10 week course over each school term. FREE 3:30-5:00pm Thursdays. Register your young person today by clicking the events tab or calling 6648 3694.
This provides an opportunity for children and young people aged 7-14 years to have fun, do a range of different activities in a safe and supported environment. It boosts creative expression and development of a range of skills and experimentation. It helps social and creative development. It allows young people to enjoy connection with other young people who share the same interests and passions. Afternoon tea is provided. These workshops will explore a range of themes to celebrate and respect our community, environment and cultural diversity. Funded by NSW Government.