Care Army Connect Workers to boost Neighbourhood and Community Centres

Queensland Government media release

The Queensland Government has delivered on its commitment to employ 15 Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Workers in Neighbourhood and Community Centres, with workers beginning in 15 communities across the state.

Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Workers will build on the legacy of the Care Army by linking volunteers with organisations, including neighbourhood and community centres, in their local areas.

“The government has provided $1.7 million funding and partnered with Volunteering Queensland to employ Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect Workers that will maximise the use of Care Army volunteers in communities statewide,” Ms Enoch said.

“Now, as south-east Queensland communities begin the long period of recovery following recent flooding, our Neighbourhood and Community Centres are once again stepping up to help, with the addition of these Neighbourhood and Care Army Connect workers greatly enhancing those recovery efforts in many communities.

“Volunteering Queensland has worked with Neighbourhood and Community Centres in high demand locations to develop local solutions.

“Care Army Connect workers are helping extend the focus of the Care Army to support more vulnerable Queenslanders including families in crisis, people experiencing homelessness and people feeling social isolation.

“These workers have now started work in 15 Neighbourhood and Community Centres, ensuring vulnerable Queenslanders stay connected with their communities.”

The Queensland Government worked with Volunteering Queensland and Neighbourhood Centres Queensland to identify neighbourhood and community centres for the Care Army Connect Workers based on the demand for volunteers and the level of need in the community.

Volunteering Queensland CEO Mara Basanovic said Volunteering Queensland was honoured to deliver the initiative, supporting Connect workers to build strong relationships between volunteers and volunteer involving organisations.

“Having an advocate that is local to the region and dedicated to the connection of Care Army volunteers with volunteer involving organisations will be ground-breaking for our sector,” Ms Basanovic said.

“Real people, talking to real people about their needs, which are unique to the region, strongly illustrates what volunteering is all about.”

Ms Enoch said interest in the Care Army had increased again during the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent floods.

“These Care Army Connect workers will help us build on the legacy of the Care Army volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future, including during natural disasters.

“The Queensland Government has also been working hard to provide support to our Neighbourhood and Community Centres, with a $20,000 grant being provided to each of the state’s 127 funded Neighbourhood and Community Centres to help meet increased demand for services.”