Mooroopna Community Open Morning
A recent community open morning at the Mooroopna Children & Families Centre provided connections for local families and organisations.
The Why Behind an Open Morning
Recent consultations with the local community identified that people were experiencing barriers to accessing support services outside of Mooroopna for various reasons, including limited access to transportation. Acting in our role as ‘The Glue’, the Our Place Mooroopna team worked on bringing together Mooroopna-based services to attend an on site community open morning.
The open morning aimed to help facilitate and strengthen relationships between local services and families, as well as between services themselves. In planning for the open morning, Our Place focused on ensuring that attendees would receive an opportunity to informally connect with and familiarise themselves with Mooroopna-based services in one convenient location. Our Place felt this was important as it would allow families to chat with various practitioners and organisational representatives directly. This would provide families the opportunity to ask questions, increase their knowledge of the services available within their town and also provide them with a chance to discuss individual circumstances and identify services to support their current or future needs.
Impromptu Networking Opportunities
Community members greatly benefited from attending the open morning, and there were also unanticipated positive outcomes for the organisations in attendance.
Feedback from the organisations who attended was extremely positive and stated that many of the representatives had not had the opportunity to meet before. When organisations were in between talking to community members, they took the opportunity to visit other stalls and learn more about the services on offer. These interactions often then led to exchanging business cards, flyers and referral information, as many felt that the families they are currently supporting could also benefit from being referred to other services for additional support. Services external to the Mooroopna Children & Families Centre were also able to familiarise themselves with the entire site and gain a good understanding of the on site services available and the referral pathways.
This feedback and experience also highlighted for Our Place that there is an appetite and need for more professional networking opportunities, and therefore will be working toward facilitating these in future. Our Place would also like to thank Mooroopna Primary School, Greater Shepparton City Council Early Years, Maternal Child and Health and Activities in the Park, Paediatrician Dr Herath Wataliyadda, Goulburn Valley Libraries Mooroopna, Ambulance Victoria, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project, and Save the Children’s Connected Beginnings for their participation in the open morning.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
This is one example of how Our Place’s role of playing ‘The Glue’ facilitates opportunities that benefit the whole community. ‘The Glue’ is what we at Our Place refer to as the critical factor in how the Our Place approach is implemented and is made up of the people, partnerships, knowledge, and infrastructure that are essential to make a place-based approach successful.
At Our Place, we are also conscious that facilitating informal opportunities for community and organisations to meet and gather often increases the uptake of services. Professionals being familiar with each other also benefits community members as their knowledge of other complementary services can increase the support offered to families and enable warm referrals to occur.
To learn more about the Our Place approach Click Here