Equipping the Expansion of the Elizabeth South Community Centre
The Elizabeth South Community Centre (ESCC) is a community development project in the disadvantaged suburb of Elizabeth South in Adelaide.
Elizabeth South is rated as the most disadvantaged suburb in the most disadvantaged metropolitan council area on the SEIFA Index of Disadvantage, determined by the ABS. Many of the people in this community face poverty, unemployment or underemployment, family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and lack of adequate housing.
ESCC has been operating since April 2014, and grew out of a breakfast feeding program started in 2011 in partnership with Hope Central Church, also in Elizabeth South. The people and relationships built within this feeding programme were full of talents and skills, but like so many in the area, they often struggled to find work, or volunteering opportunities, due to a range of issues associated with disadvantage and poverty.
And so ESCC was born to provide a space for the people of Elizabeth South and surrounding suburbs to come together and access services, as well as provide an opportunity for people to volunteer and help the people of their own community.
ESCC now connects around 150 people each and every week, and have 35 volunteers from the local community, supported and trained through ESCC.
The programmes that are offered to the community include an Op Shop, a cafe space for coffee and a chat, a craft programme, a trauma teddies knitting group, a healthy living support group, a men’s games group for men to come together, our Kids Club, and the Breakfast Together program continues to be strong.
ESCC are planning and working towards expanding to a second shop within the Elizabeth South Shopping Centre, to enable them to have a larger Op Shop, supplying more goods to people in their community. They will also focus on children’s clothes, toys and goods, as they have seen a high need this area. The op shop will then also be able to open longer, with more volunteers being able to use their times and talent, and get training and experience working with ESCC.
ESCC applied for a UCF small grant of $2,000 to purchase a cash register, a front counter, a safe for takings and some funds for additional storage in the new expanded space.
This will assist in providing an improved shop atmosphere for the community, and also a safe and secure environment for volunteers.
The expected outcomes for the new Op Shop are: –
- To support disadvantaged families in Elizabeth South with cheaper clothes, books and toys and furniture
- Increased engagement with the local community – hoping to increase engagement to 300 people per week
- Expand the number of volunteers that can be recruited, trained and placed in volunteering opportunities
- Increase the number of “hard to place” volunteers and long term unemployed volunteers in the Centre
UCF directors were pleased to approve this application and look forward to a successful expansion of the ESCC Op Shop serving the community.