New service 'established' at Killcare
A service aimed at offering new classes and activities to local residents is now, after six months, "firmly established" in the Killcare community, according to its creator.
Community Connect was formed with the aim of bringing together local teachers, facilitators and other professionals with local families and surf club members who could benefit from more locally-based recreational services, said coordinator Ms Lisa Mount.
Running out of Killcare Club's upstairs auditorium and adjoining conference room, Community Connect has regular weekday classes including the Bouddi Kids Choir, Sunrise Yoga, knitting groups and Yoga for Blokes.
Launched in July 2017 at the Pretty Beach Community Markets, with more than 20 local teachers, the service has continued to attract local musicians, artists, fitness and other professionals to share their offerings with local residents.
"Community Connect is another place where people can go to enjoy social connection, learning opportunities and access a range of activities and resources from dance classes and Pilates to creative writing and Lifeline counselling," Ms Mount said.
"This last service is a free one, and is offered every Wednesday evening at 8pm by Killcare Surf Life Saving Club president and trained Lifeline counsellor, Mr Peter Bagnall."
Ms Mount said: "Many of the classes invite both kids and adults along, as a way of encouraging adults to give something new a go and be willing to do that in front of a younger crowd, while simultaneously being available as a mentor and trusted adult for the community youth.
"The new year timetable has new additions such as Beginners Guitar with Mick King, singing groups and Tai-Kwan-Do."
Ms Mount, a local mum and surf club member, said she was inspired to create Community Connect after finding it hard to adjust to the Central Coast.
"I'll be brutally honest and say that Community Connect was inspired by my own struggles as a young single mum on the Coast.
"With my family back in Sydney, two young boys, little financial resources and a lack of social opportunities, I remember wishing there was somewhere I could go with the kids on those days where I didn't have a lot of cash, when I needed to see a smiling face and where I could access something for me without traipsing all around the coast," she said.
"Learning new things really helps us to build confidence and get positivity happening when we've been through hard patches.
"I guess it offers enough of a distraction, in a positive, life-generating way, to pick yourself up out of any rut you're in and take that next step in life.
"I initially joined the Killcare surf life saving club for these very reasons, I was at a real low point.
"Over the next few years, the people I met, the coaching and mentorship I received as a patrolling member and surf boat rower, and the acceptance I received from Patrol 1 (who I now refer to as my extended family) brought me out of a lonely place.
"After rowing for a few seasons and slowly getting my life back on track, I took a break from surf boats after the Aussies last year.
"The club has given me so much and now that I'm ok, I'm going to give something back.
"I figured I would use my skill set, professional connections and my time to help make the club more visible, approachable and accessible to all members of the community, not just those who have the means, or want to be lifesavers.
"The committee gave me the green light, and from there you couldn't stop me if you tried," Ms Mount said.
"The amount of community support we've received has been truly awesome, and the teachers, the committee and myself really appreciate it, but it really is the little things that make it all worthwhile.
"Like the smile on the face of a struggling single mum who's just made a new friend at the Kids Choir.
"She's going to have one more person to call on when she needs a helping hand.
"Or the testimonial from an ordinary pub-going guy who's just done his first yoga class and is totally getting his mates to go the next one.
"Or the talented mum or dad that's been out of the workforce for a while raising kids and is using Community Connect as the place to slowly get their professional confidence back, at their own pace, with their community supporting them and learning new things or getting fit in the process.
'That's what Community Connect is all about," Ms Mount said.
Media release, 24 Jan 2018
Lisa Mount, Community Connect