Community hub is a virtual GIFT

Article image - Community hub is a virtual GIFT Goyder’s virtual hub project officer, Deb Selway make plans for the new community hub with Council staff.

Regional Council of Goyder, South Australia, is creating connections and bringing people together through its online community hub, funded by an Age Friendly SA Grant via SA Health.

The idea of an online information resource aimed at people over 50 within the Goyder area, was first voiced at a community meeting in 2019 and funding gained in 2020 enabled project officer, Deb Selway to be employed to develop the concept and deliver the outcome – a community website.

Still under construction, the Goyder Inclusive Friendly Towns, affectionately known as GIFT, will create a network and a tool to grow awareness of the benefits and opportunities available for volunteering with community groups.

The hub gives older residents a one-stop-shop to discover where they can help or be involved in their community. It will provide options about how to participate, be active and contribute to their community in a way that suits them.

Regional Council of Goyder sport and recreational development officer, Samantha Freeman said the community hub model was based on other hubs throughout Australia – with the successful Waverton Hub being a strong point of reference. It provided a way for people to get connected and feel involved in the towns they live in.

“It’s about communities embracing inclusion and helping to make the invisible, visible.”

The hub aims to foster a spirit of sharing while allowing people to easily find a group they would be keen to get involved with – it might be a local chess group, a sporting body or just a book club.

“It’s getting the community to care for itself and each other and create spaces in towns where everyone feels welcome.”

Originally named Burra Aged Friendly Towns, the name morphed to the Goyder Inclusive Friendly Towns to highlight the inclusivity of the project.

Whilst it’s not finished just yet, the hub will soon be available for all to access.