Community close-up – Kingston East Neighbourhood Group (K.E.N.G)

Each edition of the Logan Together e-news we take a close-up look at community groups working to improve outcomes for kids in Logan. This month we are focussing on the Kingston East Neighbourhood Group – a long standing and vital pillar, offering support and services to a diverse community.

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Community ownership is one of the core principles of collective impact. It’s what drives Logan Together and it’s at the heart of the work of all of our community partners as they deliver services and support to people across our city.

Kingston East Neighbourhood Group (KENG) has been part of the fabric of Logan since 1985 and in that time it has grown into a bustling community hub serving the communities of Kingston, Woodridge, Slacks Creek and the surrounding areas.

Kim Wright is the Manager at KENG and has been involved with the organisation in many roles for about 20 years. In that time she has seen the local community change and grow and is proud to say that KENG has done the same.

“We have a very strong bond with the community as both a service and a community hub. Our aim is to be responsive to their needs – to highlight their strengths and help them overcome challenges,” she said.

“We deliver services and support across the whole lifespan of the community from mums and bubs up to seniors. After 32 years we are still continuing to adapt our offering to make sure we are providing what the community needs.”

A chat with Kim and a tour of the KENG website quickly reveals the breadth of the support this organisation offers the local community. Playgroups, employment services, emergency relief, housing services, family support, education and social inclusion activities barely scratch the surface of the rich offering available.

Anyone is welcome at KENG and Kim believes the open-door approach is the secret to the organisation’s ability to provide support to so many.

“It’s so important that people feel welcome here; that they feel comfortable. We might have someone here on a four-week program for one challenge and during that time, because we have built up trust, they might open up to us about another quite serious issues in their life that they also need support with.

“If that person then had to seek support in a new environment, where they didn’t feel safe to share their experiences, they may not seek help and could fall through the cracks.”

One of the aims of the association is to break down the barriers to people receiving assistance and they have put some very practical measures in place to overcome this issue.

A qualified early childhood professional runs an on-site occasional childcare service at KENG which is offered to participants in any of KENG’s programs free of charge. Kim said the service removed a very common barrier stopping clients receiving the support they needed.

“It’s beautiful to see – for some children who use our childcare facility it’s the first time they have had exposure to any structured early education activity. When you couple that exposure to development activities with their parent receiving support at the same time, it’s such a positive experience.”

KENG is a non-profit, non-government organisation which operates through funding by local, state and federal government as well as their own fundraising activities and donations from the community.

To find out more about KENG, to volunteer, donate or access their services visit www.keng.org.au

 

 

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