Access Community Hubs brings local education, health and community services together in a welcoming, familiar environment – something Access employee Grainne Taia is proud to be a part of.
As Community Hub Coordinator, Grainne guides Hub leaders to understand the needs of the community and create relevant partnerships.
Access helps operate nine Hubs across Logan and Ipswich; crucial spaces which provide migrants and refugee families with a sense of belonging and in creating friendships and a support network. When government restrictions saw the closure of the Hubs and asked people to stay indoors, Grainne knew the Hubs would be more crucial than ever.
“Losing our physical space meant we really had to rethink how we support families,” Grainne said.
“Since closing, we have been contacting families either by phone or through controlled home visits to support their needs.
“Food relief has been a large focus during this time, with many families struggling to afford food as a result of the pandemic, as well as referring them to other emergency relief and support services.
“As many of our clients at the Hubs are culturally and linguistically diverse families with children under five, our Hub leaders also developed resource packs that are themed with the online playgroup activities and provided physical exercise packs as well.
“We’ve also expanded the Community Hub Facebook pages to include activities for children such as pre-recorded story time; pre-recorded activity time and Zoom playgroups and Zoom English classes with our TAFE partner.”
Grainne said transitioning the Hubs to a virtual model was just another part of her role.
“Essentially my role is to advocate for what is best practice when working with vulnerable communities,” she said.
“We are always aiming to improve early childhood development, build parent capacity, and link families to support what they need – I knew during this lockdown period it would be really important these programs continued, particularly our Refugee and Asylum Seeker Early Childhood pilot.
“I am really proud of how quickly we’ve been able to adapt during this time and keep our crucial work going.
“I have seen the different outcomes for many families that come through the Hubs and how their lives have been improved. It has been a pleasure working in this sector and linking in services that are needed which will have long-term positive outcomes for local children.”
Access is the coordination and support agency for the Queensland Community Hubs Program. We currently operate the Community Hubs program in:
Logan (Overview Timetable Here):
- Marsden State School
- Woodridge State School
- Woodridge North State School
- St Francis
- St Pauls
Ipswich (Overview Timetable Here):
- Staines Memorial College
- Fernbrooke State School
- Woodlinks State School
- Riverview State School