The heart of our communities
Neighbourhood houses and community centres are safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for the local community to share in each other’s company, get involved in a diverse range of activities and programs, and seek support.
They are small not-for-profit organisations which respond to the needs and aspirations of the communities they are located in.
Their main aim is to break down social barriers, connect people to their local community, and give them a greater sense of belonging.
There are over 400 neighbourhood houses in Victoria which means there’s bound to be one near you.
What kind of activities do neighbourhood houses provide seniors?
Neighbourhood houses play an important role in the positive ageing experience for older Victorians. They offer a range of opportunities which help seniors to remain socially connected, mentally stimulated and physically healthy.
Every neighbourhood house is unique and will offer different activities depending on the needs of their community, but some common activities you may find include:
- gentle exercise classes such as tai chi or yoga
- arts and crafts classes
- sewing and knitting clubs
- cooking classes
- community lunches
- social groups such as grandparent groups, garden clubs or walking groups
- assistance with technology to help seniors connect online
- English classes for people where English is a second language
- welfare support such as food banks and government services.
Some neighbourhood houses also have community sheds and community gardens.
Everyone is welcome
Neighbourhood houses are all about providing a non-intimidating and caring space where everyone feels valued.
They welcome people of all ages, abilities, cultural backgrounds, genders and sexualities.
How are neighbourhood houses operating during the COVID-19 lockdown?
While predominately closed to the public during Stage 3 restrictions, most neighbourhood houses are operating in alternative ways to support their communities during this difficult period.
- operating essential services such as food banks and childcare
- preparing delivered or take away pre-cooked meals
- responding to calls and emails for people seeking support
- moving activities such as exercise classes or social groups online through platforms like Zoom
- staying connected through Facebook and other social media sites
- checking in with vulnerable residents via phone
- organising volunteers in the community to sew scrubs for local health care workers.
How to find a neighbourhood house near you
Visit the Neighbourhood Houses Victoria to find a neighbourhood house in your area.
For more information, contact Neighbourhood Houses Victoria
Phone: 03 9602 1228