Toni Sullivan, Manager
I am pretty confident that 4 years ago if you told me we would be able to achieve the amazing outcomes of last week 1. In a period of 5 days, and 2. Purely by having a Public Service Centre I may have laughed in your face. To be able to see our space be bought to life by activity, laughter, learning and partnerships was truly a sight to behold.
The beginning of the week enabled us to engage with a number of people “About annecto”. People had the opportunity to learn more about what we do and how we do it but also understand how we may be able to fit into their own life.
It also set the week up well giving us the ability to “upsell” the activities that were going to be happening throughout the week.
Tuesday saw the learnings continue with Holcroft Lawyers, Mallee Family Care and Office of Public Advocate talk about not only the services they provide, but the things we all should think about as adults as we age i.e. Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Advanced Care planning. The sessions were extremely informative ensuring every person walked away with some information, and creating interest for future sessions, including co facilitated sessions in the wider region.
Wednesday, we had SuniTafe and MADEC utilise our space to hold stalls where people could come and talk about career pathways in the community sector. A number of people took the opportunity to have these one on one sessions. For annecto it also gave us a beautiful opportunity to have chats to the teams about how we work together to create employment pathways, and how we become an employer of choice.
The Service Centre was a hub of excitement and activity on Thursday with the crew from The Christie Centre, in particular participants in the Artrageous Program. They were able to show some of the fantastic Art pieces, and jewellery created by participants as well as sell some of the YUMMY chocolate from the Chocolate Co. The guys utilised the space and the centre to drum up excitement for Friday’s activities as well as teach my colleagues and I some pretty fancy puppeteering!!! Whilst this was happening our Techsperts talked people through their devices and how to utilise them. They talked about connectivity and how we at annecto could support that. To see the space busy, buzzing, and full of smiles was indeed the intended purpose. The Christie Centre were very grateful for the opportunity to utilise the space and it is the beginning of what we think will be a beautiful friendship.
Friday…..FUNDAY …….WHOOP WHOOP!!!!! 30 plus current and potential new clients, Artrageous Participants, a Giant Cow and a sponge competition what more could you want to top off an amazing week?! People were coming in early with the promise of Cake and cookies so Stefano DiPieri was greeted very warmly by a large group of people waiting to hear his verdict. Stefano was a ruthless but fair judge and Lorraine, a current annecto client, was the well-deserved winner of the ‘best sponge’. People mingled and chatted whilst being waited on by our friendly volunteers.
Discussions were had about how else the space could be used and what could be done in there when there weren’t activities on, and how each individual saw themselves within the space. Lorraine was one of the last people to leave the space after filling her tummy with delicious goodies, and her heart with new friendships, with the promise that on the days when she felt sad, cold or lonely, she would come in knowing she always would have a space to sit and a smile to greet her.
The last 4 years have been intense, not to mention a Pandemic was thrown in there, just in case you didn’t know, but it was worth it to see the smiling faces, hear the laughter of new friends, to see the silly dancing and singing of people who normally sit behind computers all day, but most importantly, to see our dream beginning to come to life.