Springfield's YMCA Community Centres are a safe space for all
Whether you’re a mum with a bub or a retiree looking for activities to connect you with likeminded people, the YMCA offers you a safe space to meet and engage with your local community.
The not-for-profit organisation has had ties with the local community for almost ten years, taking over the management of the Springfield Lakes Community Centre in August 2012.
Since their inception in the community, the YMCA has provided vital services, facilities, and programs for Springfield locals – including critical support during the 2020 hailstorm and its aftermath, which saw $1.08 billion worth of damage throughout the community. During this time, the Springfield Lakes Community Centre was instantly transformed as a hub for those who had lost their homes in the storm and provided people with a safe place to charge their phone, talk to Energex, receive food and meet with the Department of Housing, banks and insurers.
Assistant Community Centre Coordinator, Tiffany De La Fosse says the YMCA is a highly sought-after safe place for people to connect and access different low-cost programs and activities. However, what most locals aren’t aware of is the fact that there are now two YMCA community centres in the area – which provides the organisation with the ability to help even more Springfield residents.
“I think the Springfield community really values the YMCA,” says Tiffany.
“We do a lot of free activities and services, but mainly we are a safe place for people to come to... that's our number one priority.
“Lots of people are still not aware that we have a second community centre only ten minutes away at Springfield Central, just next to Springfield Central State High School.”
The second community centre – opened in early 2021 – is primarily focussed on kids aged 12 and over and is strategically placed between the high school and Springfield Central Sports Complex to provide youth with a safe space to meet, relax and most importantly, have fun. This allows the existing Springfield Lakes community centre to concentrate their services on young families with babies through to primary school aged kids.
With a sports hall, office rooms, function space and a large kitchen, the new centre located on Parkland Drive is the perfect place for engaging youth activities to take place.
“At our Springfield Central Community Centre, we have youth drop in two days a week, Wednesdays are for youth hang out and Friday is for youth sports,” says Tiffany.
Our Springfield Lakes Community Centre on the other hand has mums and bubs programs, playgroup, sewing club, chess club and garden club.”
The YMCA team would not be able to host free events and programs without the support of community funding and volunteering. As recipients of the Springfield Rise Community Grants Program, the YMCA were able to host a special school holiday Easter egg hunt at the Springfield Rise Display Village.
“Without the support of community grants, we would not be able to facilitate any of these fantastic events for our wider community,” says Tiffany.
“Volunteers are also amazing and again, without their support, we wouldn't be able to do what we do. Volunteering can look very different for each person depending on their lifestyle, it could be one hour a month, one hour a week or one hour a day.”