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Northside Community Centre, Geelong

People living in Northside, near Geelong, experience a high level of unemployment, family breakdown and isolation. To help relieve some of the pain in their community, the Salvos joined forces with Glastonbury Family Services and the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust to launch an ‘Imagination Station’ playground at The Salvation Army’s Northside Community Centre.

This will assist young parents by providing a nearby, safe playground for about 40 children who visit the centre each week. The nearest safe place for children to play outside is over three kilometres away and the area lacks viable public transport options.

Jodie visits the centre with her 18-month-old son, who loves to play outside in the sandpit. “This place gives me the confidence to come out with him,” she says. “I like the idea of the community meal the Salvos put on for us and being able to sit down and talk with other mums.”

Northside Corps Officer Major Gloria Eldridge says, “We’re about engaging families back into the community, where they’ve previously felt isolated.”

Children enjoy the playground at Northside Community Centre, Geelong

In the last year at Northside Salvation Army:

  • 26,000 people were engaged through playgroups, emergency relief, general counselling, legal advice, free computer access, food parcels and community meals;
  • 6,500 community meals were served; and
  • 7,000 meals and bags of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food were given away.