During Queensland’s first lockdown, Hambledon House Community Centre had minimal opportunities to celebrate and connect with its vibrant community.

After securing a lease to build on programs previously run by the Cairns Regional Council, the Mission Australia team in Cairns organised an Open Day, inviting local community members to discover the services available at the centre.

Supporting the Cairns community

Located in Edmonton in Cairns, the Hambledon House Community Centre provides a range of support services including counselling, NDIS Local Area Coordination, Early Childhood Early Intervention programs and case management.

In partnership with local services and community groups, the centre delivers activities that promote social connectedness and are a universal access point for individuals and families to get help and support.

A successful open day for Hambledon House

Staff at Hambledon House Community Centre celebrated the launch of the service by organising fun community activities such as face painting, cupcake decorating, sausage sizzles, photo booths and more. Maintaining a COVID-safe approach, the team welcomed more than 350 visitors from the community who were able to enjoy the facilities and learn more about the service.

“We had a wide variety of people that joined, demonstrating the diversity in the Cairns South Side,” says Margaret Osmond, a Program Manager at Mission Australia.

“Parents were sipping their coffees while watching their kids dance to the entertainment. We had people with icing around their mouths, enjoying the freshly baked cupcakes that were kindly donated in entirety from a local bakehouse.”

Just as the staff were running low on sausages to sizzle, they had a surprise visit from a local Domino’s store who donated pizzas to support the local community.

People standing outside Hambledon House smiling on the open day

“We had so many people telling us that this was the first time they had ever been to our centre and they were surprised and impressed with the many available services we offer,’ says Margaret.

“People who only met us at the Open Day sat down with us for a casual chat to ask about our services and even made a generous donation to our food bank.”

With a successful Open Day, the team look forward to continuing to support vulnerable children and families in the community.

Between January to March 2021, the team at Hambledon House provided emergency food packs to over 100 vulnerable families in the community. Funded by the Queensland Government, Hambledon House continues to support families and children.

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