Somewhere over the rainbow

Community Plus+ Newsletter September 2020

G’Day Community!

How are you going?

Spring has sprung!

As we shake off the cooler weather we’re looking forward to spending a bit more time outside! We’ve got our WECH poetry group hanging out in the garden already and we’re thinking of ways to host other well-loved Community Plus+ activities in outdoor spaces. Stay tuned, you’ll be the first to know!

Keep your eyes on our socials too as we’ll be sharing events that are happening in the community digitally and in person. With updates in COVID restrictions happening weekly, we’ll let you know if and when things change with any of the activities or events that we share, at our neighbourhood centres and in the community. Don’t forget, you can still access our window/door support, assisting people with information and referrals, tenant’s advice, food relief, phone and Wi-Fi access, and printing/photocopier services from both West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre.

From all of the team (and the doggos of Community Plus+),

Stay safe, stay connected.

And remember,

Community Plus+ YOU = US!


Somewhere over the rainbow


It’s September! So of course, we’re celebrating Spring and getting outdoors in the fresh air! And there’s no place like home to get out and about… not Kansas – Yeronga (and the surrounding suburbs *ahem*)!

Join us in celebrating the season and getting some well-deserved fresh air! We’ve hidden crocheted rainbows around the community, all within 2.5km walking distance of Yeronga Community Centre. Like our favourite fluff ball Harvey, you might find one of our rainbows wrapped around a lamppost, hanging on a tree or hedge or stuck on a signpost!

When you find a rainbow, take a selfie and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #communityplusqld or send it in a private message on Facebook and we will share it with the community!

Oh and if you find and take pictures of *at least* 10 rainbows, we’ll give you a prize… your very own crochet rainbow!

And that’s not all… each person who finds 10 rainbows and sends us the photos will also be entered into a prize draw (after 5 October 2020) to win a $50 Coles voucher which has kindly been donated by Cllr Nicole Johnston!

Happy Hunting!🌈


Community Connections and Belonging


Well since Spring is all about new beginnings – we’re proud to share an exciting project that we’ll be hosting in partnership with The Annerley Baptist Church! The Community Connection and Belonging Project is a new, locally-based initiative aiming to link people with diverse life experiences together through social connection, and create a friendlier, more connected and empowered community in the neighbourhoods of Annerley, Moorooka, Rocklea and Yeronga.

The Community Connection and Belonging Project welcomes everyone in our wonderful community to connect in our safe space at the Annerley Baptist Church, and other public spaces across the community. There will be a range of opportunities for community members to come together and value each other through hospitality and friendship. Through the Community Connection and Belonging project, people can connect based on their interests, have a chat and get to know each other, and attend events such as cooking and sharing meals alongside one another.

This will be a true celebration of our wonderful community. That’s why we are looking for someone in the community who can support the Community, Connections and Belonging program in creating a logo! If you have experience in logo design and think you can come up with something great please email your interest and some samples to Nerida Leighton on communityconnection@annerleybaptist.org.au

The Community Connection and Belonging Project is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council.


R.I.S.E
(and shine) at West End Community House!


When we introduced the WECH pantry earlier this year, COVID lockdown was just kicking off in Queensland. Many of you made generous donations to support your community andmany of you took what you needed when you needed. We’re so happy to say that the pantry continues to be valuable to the community and we have no plans of taking it away, but in the next few weeks you might not notice it in front of West End Community House anymore.

To maximise your safety (and ensure we are keeping the required COVID safe distance apart) the pantry, and all referrals activity, and food packs and meals, will be available from the downstairs backyard area at West End Community House. This activity will now be known as R.I.S.E (Referrals, Information, Support and Engagement) and will take place Monday to Thursday from 9am to 11am.

We still need your support with pantry donations. You can come by 24/7 to drop something off in the pantry (located downstairs in the backyard). Every donation is very much valued.

You can find a full list of what we need for our community pantries at West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre on our website


What’s on?


  • Love seeing the beautiful artworks created by The Art Gang? Don’t miss out on the 2020 Art From the Margins: QLD Outsider Art Awards! Each one of the Gang is exhibiting their work. The digital exhibition runs from 11-20 SeptemberRegister online for free!

Hooray for 10K!

Community Plus+ Newsletter August 2020

G’Day Community!

How are you going?

As we move swiftly into the latter part of 2020 we’ve been reflecting on all the things that have happened so far this year (July is the time to do it!). More than anything we’re proud of our community and all that we’ve achieved together during COVID-19.

What are those achievements? Supporting our community to keep connecting – in person, over the phone, online. A little check-in goes a long way! In July we hit 10K delicious meals made and shared over the COVID period! We’ve started welcoming people back to the centres in small numbers, organising events and activities for the upcoming months. And YOU have been reaching out to us often to ask how you can support community.

So thank you for being part of our community, you’re amazing!

Don’t forget, you can still access our window/door support, assisting people with information and referrals, tenant’s advice, food relief, phone and Wi-Fi access, and printing/photocopier services from both West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre.

From all of the team,

Stay safe, stay connected.

And remember,

Community Plus+ YOU = US!


A big hooray for 10K!


Imagine a big streamer of confetti going off – that’s how we’re feeling! Time to celebrate!

Over the Queensland COVID-19 period (March 2020 and ongoing) the Food with Thought program at the Yeronga Community Kitchen produced hot and cold meals for members of West End, Yeronga and Annerley communities facing food insecurity and loneliness as a result of the pandemic. This week we reached a big milestone: 10,000 meals made and distributed to community!

Tasty offerings have included; Tuscan chicken, Thai beef curry, dahl, quiche Lorraine, mushroom ravioli, and sweet and sour pork…to name just a few! Desserts have proved the most popular though, with our community of sweet tooths coming back for more plum and apple crumble with custard, banana and caramel dumplings, raspberry and mango swirl and passionfruit pavlova!

“The neighbours say they love any of the dishes provided. One neighbour kept raving about the lasagne – he kept badgering me to ask about it!!! The other neighbour loved the desserts – apple crumble and custard.” Mike, West End Community House community member.

Read more about how Community Plus+ cooked for community during COVID here


Got a question for QSTARS?


Very much a part of the fabric of Community Plus+ … meet the QSTARS Tenants Advice Team:  Cherry (gnome hunter – in her garden only!), Caroline (avid Zumba dancer), Paty (singing, music listening nature enthusiast), Kate (80’s toys collector) and Kylee (true-crime podcast enthusiast)!

In true Community Plus+ style, it’s been a busy period for QSTARS! Between April and end of June 2020, QSTARS supported 842 members of the community with a range of tenancy concerns. From renters living in an environment with domestic violence indicators to tenants at risk of experiencing homelessness and tenants experiencing COVID-19 related matters.

Some of the questions the QSTARS team get asked include:

  • Repairs and maintenance – who’s responsible? 
  • Rent arrears and bonds – understanding QCAT applications.
  • How to end a tenancy
  • COVID-19 related matters; rent reduction, entry to a residence, how to terminate a tenancy.

Check out the answers to some of these FAQs and more on the QSTARS website.

If you are a renter living in the Brisbane local government area of Southside with a tenancy concerns you can speak to the team for free by calling 1300 744 263, from 9am to 5pm Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9am to 7pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Young at heart (and in our heart)


We’ve been so pleased to welcome some of our wonderful community back to Seniors Morning Tea on a Monday at Yeronga Community Centre! We’ve been safely revisiting many of our favourite communal pastimes; playing cards, showing up the youngsters at Trivia and of course, the reason we all love to come together… a good old chinwag.

We’re especially pleased that returning to the centre and adjusting to new safety measures (like maintaining that 1.5m distance) in line with the relaxing of restrictions has given us plenty of practice ahead of Queensland Senior Week (15 to 23 August)!

To celebrate our seniors (pictured a little further from home enjoying last year’s Seniors Week event) we will be having a small morning tea at the Yeronga Community Centre on the 17th August. Due to COVID restrictions, we will be required to limit numbers so you’ll have to celebrate with us by checking out the photos from the day!


What’s on?


  • Want to get your hands on Whoopee-Doo Crew’s CD ‘All the People Cheer Me Up’? Let us know by emailing westend@communityplus.org.au and we’ll be in touch about how to order one.

  • Join us at ReThink’s EKKA popup – treat yourself (and the environment) to a ReThink Showbag, and raise funds for Prince Charles Hospital by indulging in a Strawberry Sundae! 9am to 12pm on the 8th August – outside Yeronga Community Centre.

  • Are you interested in joining the Community Plus+ committee? We’ve got a great opportunity coming up – look out for it in your emails next week!

We’ve got a heart for art!

Community Plus+ Newsletter July 2020

G’Day Community!

After what felt like a very slow start to the year, it’s a bit of a shock that it’s July already isn’t it! How have you felt about this month zooming past us?

As we adjust to the next phase of COVID-19, we’ve been preparing West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre according to all the COVID safe guidelines in order to slowly start connecting back in with you in person (in limited numbers). We are slowly but surely reintroducing a few of our centre-based activities including Seniors Morning Tea and Art Group at YCCand Art Gang, poetry, music, gardening and women’s groups at WECH.

While we can’t quite welcome you back ‘in house’ to Open House just yet, we’re still busy with our window/door support, assisting people with information and referrals, tenant’s advice, phone and Wi-Fi access, food relief and printing/photocopier services from both West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre.

From all of the team,

Stay safe, stay connected.

And remember,

Community Plus+ YOU = US!


We’ve got a heart for ART


It’s fair to say that art is a big part of our heart at Community Plus+. Both West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre have well-loved, well-established art groups (have you heard of the Art Gang? Of course you have!) that have always met regularly to connect and create. During COVID lockdown, our YCC group haven’t been able to meet as usual, but members of the Art Gang have been connecting in one on one residencies with our very own artist/mentor/wonderwoman Sue.

In fact, we’re still celebrating the wonderful digital exhibition that members of the Art Gang have been involved in during COVID-19! Take a look at their work in the exhibition: Sideways (after 43 minutes).Congrats Art Gang!


ReThink makes an Impact – BOOM!


What better way to start Plastic Free July than by celebrating the success of our very own community superstars – ReThink!

If you haven’t already heard of local, social enterprise ReThink, then what are you waiting for? Get on to it! ReThink have a brilliant selection of sustainable, locally sourced items that not only support the local community by creating employment opportunities for people with a disability, they also help you achieve your goal of reducing plastic waste at a very low cost.

And it doesn’t stop there! As a part of their involvement in this year’s Impact Boom, ReThink will be participating in the Elevate+ 2020 showcase on the 14th July. Register for tickets here and listen to the ReThink team talk about their journey as a start up social enterprise making an impact to community.

Ready to make a difference in your home? ReThink are popping up at Yeronga Community Centre every Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm – See you there!


Thank you!


As you know, because of the COVID-19 restrictions this year, we haven’t been able to put on many of the regular events and activities that support us with our fundraising goals. This is why it’s even more special to us that you supported us in this year’s digital Tax Time Appeal. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who donated and shared stories of our work to encourage others to support us too. So THANK YOU!

With your generous contribution, we’ve raised a tremendous $35K! The funds raised will go directly to Community Plus+ programs making an incredible impact in your local community during COVID-19 and beyond. We can’t wait to share all the fantastic things that we achieve this year, together. Because after all, Community Plus+ YOU = US! 

From all of us at Community Plus+ (including our wonderful Community Plus+ volunteer Michael pictured above) thank you!

Together we can make a difference

Community Plus+ Newsletter June 2020

G’Day Community!

How have you been this month?

We hope that as winter has well and truly arrived you’re starting to wrap up a little warmer, and enjoying some of the easing of restrictions that we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. Our neighbourhood centres are still closed for the time being, but we’ll let you know as soon as it’s safe to welcome you back!

From all of the team,

Stay safe, stay connected.

And remember,

Community Plus+ YOU = US!


Together we can make a difference


With your generous ongoing support, Community Plus+ has been helping people to feel safer, connected and more in control of their lives for over 30 years. As the end of the financial year draws closer, we ask that you consider making your tax-deductible donation to Community Plus+.

Your contribution enables us to continue providing valuable support to the community through our Annerley and Rocklea community outreach services, QSTARS Tentants Advice Service and our beloved neighbourhood centres; West End Community House and Yeronga Community Centre.


Community Plus+ Cook-A-Long!


Have you picked up a pack yet? What are you waiting for! Join the many master chefs who have been adding a little Community Plus+ magic to their meals. 

THANK YOU to everyone who has cooked along with us so far – we’ve loved seeing your finished recipes!

Each week we’re sharing a new recipe on our socials – for just $5 you get all (or most) of the ingredients you need to Cook-A-Long with your community!

The cost of your ingredients goes straight back into the Community Plus+ Food with Thought program, which is making the same meals you are for people experiencing hardship in your community.

Can’t make it in to pick up a pack? No worries! All the recipes can be found on our website 😊

Bon Appetite!


Keeping Connected


It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of technology in keeping connected during physical separation.

Whilst we will start to open up (and we will let you know as soon as this we are able to welcome you back) things will still look different to how they were before lockdown due to the safety requirements that need to be in place. That’s why we have also been looking at ways we can offer activities and programs online and keep connected with you.

Many of our valued community members may not have the access to, or knowledge of technology that many of us take for granted. To support people who do need a little extra help, we’ve been undertaking an access to technology survey to find out exactly what’s needed to make sure everyone can keep in touch with friends and family, 

If you know someone who needs support to access technology we’d appreciate you sharing this link with them (or helping them) to complete the survey. Alternatively, we can call, check in and do the survey over the phone – get in touch with us to arrange a call back by emailing admin@communityplus.org.au

Community Plus+ YOU = US!

Community Plus+ Newsletter May 2020

G’Day Community!

Welcome to the first edition of our new look newsletter! You can look forward to receiving these on the first Saturday of the month – perfect for getting comfy and enjoying with a cuppa!
Read on to find out what we’ve been doing to support the community during COVID-19, and a little preview of what we’ll be doing in the coming month.

From all of the team,

Stay safe, stay connected.

And remember,

Community Plus+ YOU = US!


A message from manager Mel


It is an understatement to say that the past 6 weeks have been extraordinary. Like many others, we had to temporarily close our Open House programs to keep community, staff and volunteers safe. 

It’s been difficult not to welcome you in person, but while heeding social distancing rules to protect Queenslanders from the pandemic, we’ve been adapting and learning new ways to maintain that same connectedness and community spirit Community Plus+ represents. We adjusted quickly to deliver most services remotely; our service reception, intake, incoming calls for information & referral and tenancy advice continue to operate normally across all our teams.

We’re so proud of the resilience, generosity and warmth of our community, who have come together in so many wonderful ways during this time. Our Yeronga Community Kitchen meals and our WECH Community Pantry are both great examples of our local communities’ resilience in action –  with support of our community, we’ve been able to safely provide daily food relief to vulnerable members of our community.

Speaking of resilience, now more than ever, it’s important to be as compassionate to yourself as you are to your family and friends. Remember to be mindful of your own wellbeing to seek support when needed.

Similarly, where we see those around us struggling, we can reach out in ways that make a difference.

Thank you! We can’t wait to see you again!

Mel


All hands on deck!


It’s been a busy month at Community Plus+!

  • WECH’s addition of a community pantry, and a new fridge at YCC was welcomed by all. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our community pantries! We always need donations – you can find out what donations we’re looking for on our website.
  • Yeronga Community Kitchen has been pumping out lots of delicious food using generous donations from Feed Appeal, OzHarvest and Foodbank. The tasty creations have been shared and enjoyed by all our communities and we’ve been delivering them to people who can’t come themselves; local boarding houses, and others who cannot access our neighbourhood centres due to isolation.
  • Our QSTARS Tenants Advice team supported over 1000 people with COVID-19 related issues to date.
  • We letter box dropped an incredible 1650 check-in packs across Yeronga, Annerley and Rocklea for this year’s Neighbours Day! In the appropriate PPE of course!

Is it May already?!

  • Switch off Masterchef – we’ve got Melinda’s recipes coming direct to you from the Yeronga Community Kitchen! Look out for some Food with Thought favourites coming to our website, and a little something extra special we’re cooking up for you!
  • Did you know we’re a network partner with the Australian Government’s Be Connected program? We’re sharing topics from the program on our Facebook page each week. Please get in touch if you need any support with access to technology.

Our Facebook community is coming together!


We’ve introduced some new fun things to Socials this month, including Digital Poetry Club and Friday Film night quiz – thank you for getting involved with our posts and keeping the community together by engaging with us online while we’re physically apart.

As a community, our increased online activity has highlighted our need to focus on you more directly, celebrate our extended community, provide you with all the information you need from one place and make it easier for you to connect with us. That’s why we will shortly be merging the three separate accounts into one Community Plus+ account. 

Our whole community; Annerley, West End and Yeronga will come together under one big Community Plus+ Facebook roof!

After all – Community Plus+ YOU = US!

Until we announce more, follow us on Facebook for the next poetry prompts, coming this Monday!