Northside, near Geelong in Victoria, has a high rate of single-parent families, unemployment and disadvantage.
This year The Salvation Army’s Northside Community Centre joined forces with Glastonbury Family
Services and the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust to launch a $65,000 ‘Imagination Station’ playground
for about 40 children who come to the centre each week.
The playground and playgroup is aimed at assisting young mums. The nearest safe place for children to play outside is over three kilometres away and there is a lack of viable public transport options in the area.
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.”