Early in the 1980′s St David’s Uniting Church members agreed that one of its missions was to reach out to the community and so a committee was formed to ascertain where there may be needs. Men from the Church went into the local shopping centres, interviewed shoppers, and then drew up a list of what the greatest needs in the community were.
Local mothers were very keen to be able to access part-time child care so they could attend appointments etc. The committee decided to offer two hour morning sessions of baby and child care in the hall at St David’s. It was manned by volunteer ladies from the Church.
To raise funds a small Thrift Shop was set up in the Church Hall and was open to the public on Saturday mornings.
As more community needs were identified it became obvious a person to be responsible for the overall running of the programmes was needed.
Deaconess Jan Chalmers was our first Co-ordinator and came to St David’s in 1986 with prior experience as a Co-ordinator of a fully functioning Neighbourhhood Centre at Balmoral Uniting Church. At this point, we became officially known as St David’s Neighbourhood Centre.
We had no Government funding so the original committee and our many supporters from the Church began fundraising activities so we could broaden our services to the community. Fashion Parades, Garage Sales, a Fair, Art Shows etc were organized. Congregation members were also invited to make regular financial donations towards the work of the Centre. Some very successful school holiday day- camps for children were held and many Church members took annual leave from work to assist at the camps.
The Neighbourhood Centre eventually became eligible for some Government Funding