Teams across community hubs and houses in West Auckland are passionate about making a difference in their local community. With more than 34,800 locals coming through the doors each year and a high number of youth, community hub staff have a deep understanding about the needs of their community.
Healthy Families Waitakere convened a number of community hub members, Not-for-Profit organisations and Auckland Council representatives to go through an exciting co-design process to create a series of healthy food initiatives based on what they know will work for their communities and their experiences with local residents.
To reignite community interest in gardening to promote good health, Green Bay Community House held a working bee to initiate a group of interested gardeners to meet monthly and develop a community vegetable garden on-site. In addition to the garden, the team have run a series of workshops to residents on beekeeping.
Titirangi Community House built a small veranda vegetable garden to show people how to grow food in small spaces. They too, ran workshops on beekeeping and offered sessions on worm farming to their local neighbourhood. Produce from the veranda garden has used in children’s cooking classes, an initiative set up by the hub to ensure the garden was well utilised.
Manutewhau Hub took a youth focus to address high sugary drink consumption among young people. The hub staff integrated health and wellness into their holiday programme where 30 children learnt about sugar in drinks, healthy eating, and planted a garden.
Healthy Families Waitakere Manager Kerry Allan says this is the first time this network of community hub and house representatives have come together to address the challenges their community face around making healthier choices.
“These are great examples of what Healthy Families NZ is all about – community leadership enabling change in places where people spend their time. We are thrilled to be supporting the Community hubs and houses in their work to address issues in their community”, says Kerry.
Image: Titirangi Community House Coordinator and their veranda vegetable garden