NEIGHBOURHOOD Houses in Gippsland have provided more than $8 million in value to their local communities between April 2019 and March 2020, according to a study by Deloitte.

The social return on investment for Neighbourhood Houses was calculated at an astounding $2.78 for every dollar invested in activities. As well as this outstanding financial return, the report also found Neighbourhood Houses in Gippsland provided significant community benefit by building individual and community resilience, improved social participation, emergency relief and improved health and wellbeing.

There are 20 Neighbourhood Houses within the Neighbourhood Houses Gippsland (NHG) network.

Often seen as a safe space within communities, their work includes community lunches, exercise classes, adult learning, community garden activities as well as arts and crafts. In addition to these activities, many houses now – seeing the need within their communities – offer emergency food relief and are dealing on a regular basis with community members struggling with social isolation and loneliness, in addition to domestic violence and mental health issues.

Often overlooked and misunderstood, NHG reached out to Deloitte to show the vital role they play in communities.

NHG’s network manager Antonia Halloran-Lavelle said Neighbourhood Houses play a vital role in their communities.

“The current pandemic is a clear example of this, volunteers and staff from Neighbourhood Houses in Gippsland worked tirelessly checking in on community members, shopping, providing emergency food relief and collecting scripts.

“We connected with each other, listened to their community and responded swiftly.”

Despite this, Antonia went on to say, “Neighbourhood Houses are often not included in emergency response strategies.”

For further information, contact Antonia on 0409 110 939 or NHG president Tracie Lund on 0421 957 533 or call in to your local Neighbourhood House.