The Hive established the Together in Willmot Working Group in June 2016 to collaborate with members of the community and local services to work in a more coordinated way to address community concerns. Holding Community Conversations with residents have been a tool to assist with deeply understanding aspirations and concerns of local residents.
After consistently taking time to listen to, and build trust with the community, the Working Group were able to consider initiatives that could address key concerns. Today, the Together in Willmot Working Group consists of residents, local service providers including government and non-government organisations.
What we have learnt from the community is that residents want Willmot to be a safe and friendly community that is clean and they are concerned that kids in the area have nothing to do and there is a lack of a sense of community. The Group is working with residents to develop solutions for these concerns.
Initiatives the Working Group has currently achieved together include:
– The Holiday Club This initiative was in response to concerns about the lack of activities for kids to engage in over the holidays. Various members of the working group were able to offer time, resources and activities to engage with the children over a two-day program .
– Tag4Trust This OzTag gala day was an amazing collaborative success of responding to the concerns of kids having nothing to do, young people wanting to be involved in sport, as well as a community mistrust of emergency services. Multiple teams across the Mt Druitt postcode engaged in training leading up to the event while being coached by youth workers or mentors, before being paired with a coach on the day from the police, fire brigade or NSW Ambulance to build trust in local emergency services. The day was a success with children and families engaging positively with emergency services and breaking stigmas and negative perceptions.
– Willmot Clean Up Day This event was held on the 23rd of June as a response to the multiple community conversations which mentioned concerns of rubbish, graffiti and hazardous materials in the park and shops area. These are recurring issues which the community were passionate about seeing something change. Members of the Working Group came together and were able to engage the council , residents and corporate volunteers to hold a ‘Willmot Clean Up Day’, to refresh the common park area and the shops to make it an area the community can be proud of.
The Linker Network The suburb of Willmot is currently part of a FACS prototype of their new collaborative model the Linker Network. The Linker Network aims to ensure easier access for service users, and providing a ‘no wrong door’ approach and wrap around support to ensure no one falls through the gaps. Most members of the Together in Willmot Working Group are registered as Linkers, which means that no matter what service you walk into, they will ensure you get connected to the most appropriate service and support you through the process.
There are many organisations and individuals who are working as part of Together in Willmot, including:
– Jesuit Social Services – Family by Family – Willmot Community Group – Graceades Cottage – Willmot Public School- Blacktown Council- FACS – Rap4Change – Fusion- Youth off the Streets – Mission Australia – and many others