As a result of an independent audit by Deloitte Access Economics, Morwell Neighbourhood House has again proved its worth to the community of Morwell and beyond. The report which was enabled through strong support from Philanthropic Foundation Igniting Change and Deloitte Access Economics has stated that in 2017 Morwell Neighbourhood House provided in excess of $600,000 worth of value to the community. This was calculated during a social impact study completed on some of Morwell Neighbourhood House’s services. The actual value is likely to be far greater.
The study identified programs such as the community lunch, food bank and lawnmower program as providing significant community benefit in both a financial and resilience way. During 2017, Morwell Neighbourhood House supported 188 people directly to improve their quality of life along with another 261 participants who described themselves as experiencing a disability.
The report also identified the contribution of our highly valued volunteers who gave 3,244 hours of their time which is valued at just over $130,000. The contribution of these volunteers in improving quality of life and improving individuals and communities resilience is far greater.
This report builds on an existing evidence base on the important role of MNH in the Morwell community. Research undertaken through the Centre of Research for Resilient Communities at Federation University Australia provides qualitative evidence summarised briefly below.
Most significant change evaluation for neighbourhood houses: A pilot study & consultation report at Morwell Neighbourhood House (Whyte, 2017a)
Aims: (i) To evaluate the activities and programs of MNH. (ii) To determine the appropriateness and feasibility of using the Most Significant Change (MSC) method of evaluation.
Findings: It was found that the programs were effective for the four participants in the report and that the programs made participants feel an increased sense of acceptance and inclusiveness. The strengths of the programs were in the person-centred strengths focussed approach and flexibility of the programs allowing participants to go at their own pace.
‘They go into bat for me’ –Morwell Neighbourhood House, the Hazelwood Mine Fire and Recovery (Whyte, 2017b)
Aims: Provides an overview of the role played by MNH in assisting with immediate and longer term processes of community recovery following the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire event.
Findings: The report highlighted the role of MNH in stepping forward and acting as a place of refuge for the community and a place of trust. The success of MNH in achieving this appeared to be paying attention to the needs of the community and postponing original programs to fill in the gap for the community as a provider of updates and information. The use of process and framework through a community development approach was key according to the report. Other key points were the use of leadership, a pre-existing sense of community, and the efficiency of MNH’s
Morwell Neighbourhood House will continue to work with the community to ensure that its services are improving quality of life, health & well being & addressing community