Homes North partners with TurningPoint Church Gunnedah to establish community garden for Homes North tenants

PARTNERSHIP: Neville Mammen with Richard Innis at TurningPoint Church where a community garden will be established. Photo: Vanessa Höhnke
PARTNERSHIP: Neville Mammen with Richard Innis at TurningPoint Church where a community garden will be established. Photo: Vanessa Höhnke

TurningPoint Church Gunnedah and Home North are teaming up for a community project.

Homes North has received almost $46,000 for an outdoor cover and a raised community garden on TurningPoint’s grounds in South Street.

The funds were announced in October in round three of the Social Housing Community Improvement Fund and the project has a 12-month turnaround.

“We have partnered with Homes North to provide a meeting place that’s independent to tenant housing and in conjunction with that is a community garden with a path so even disabled people can go around it,” TurningPoint minister Neville Mammen said.

“People can be allocated a certain section [in the garden] and access what they grow.”

At a tenant’s meeting early in the year, Homes North operations manager, Richard Innis, tenants discussed the need for a place they could go that is safe and peaceful, where they can have a cuppa, and hold meetings, forums and social activities.

A number of the tenant’s children are already familiar with TurningPoint, so Homes North approached the church  about improving its existing outdoor space.

Mr Mammen said he signed a letter of agreement by March and plans got under way. 

“It all came together delightfully and surprisingly quickly by the hand of God,” he said.

Mr Innis said the project will provide tenants with “an opportunity to reintegrate”.

“Homes North being a community organisation, we’re about benefiting the community we’re in,” he said.

Mr Mammen said he was in the process of submitting the final paperwork to Gunnedah Shire Council, including an extra quotation and engineering design.

The minister said Gunnedah resident Kim Gibson has been heavily involved in the design of the garden.

“She’s been instrumental in setting up a garden for GS Kidd Memorial School so her wisdom and experience is a valuable asset to help in the construction,” Mr Mammen said.

“It is a progressive vision [for TurningPoint].”

It is hoped work will begin before Christmas.