Clarendon Vale is one of Tasmania’s ‘struggling’ suburbs. Situated on Hobart’s extreme eastern fringe, Clarendon Vale is made up of about 50 per cent public housing and has a high rate of unemployment. And, according to census figures, the population of the neighbourhood is a much younger demographic than many other areas of Tasmania.
A lack of facilities and organised activities during school holidays created more problems for the suburb so the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre, the go-to place for information or help with issues, decided to rectify this situation.
Each week, activities are organised with community groups volunteering to help out.
This week, volunteers from Navy Headquarters Tasmania, along with Mission Australia, the Clarendon Vale Primary School, the Abundant Life Church, the Touch Football Association, the Eastern Regions Soccer Club and the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre joined forces to conduct a Holiday Activities Program with a barbecue lunch provided.
Simon Paul, the coordinator of the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre, said that around 50 to 60 children and their parents regularly attend these events.
Simon has been working at the Centre for about eight years and says that although the work can be challenging, it's ultimately rewarding.
"It's about empowering people and that's what really gives us our kicks.
“It’s about seeing positive change within individuals and their families," Simon said.
“We rely heavily on volunteers to run the programs and help out at activities and events, particularly as funding can come and go for projects depending on grants and government initiatives.”
Simon expressed his gratitude for the commitment and enthusiasm displayed by the Navy team.