The Neighbourhood House that Morwell built

7 June 2018

Services provided by a community initiative that played a pivotal role after the Hazelwood Mine Fire in 2014 has been valued highly in monetary terms by consulting firm Deloitte.

The Morwell Neighbourhood House has been operating for 35 years, bringing people together to develop the community’s capacity to solve local challenges.

Last year the centre decided to measure its true social impact on the community and engaged consulting firm Deloitte Access Economics to provide an estimate of the impact it made over one calendar year.

The result was phenomenal but not surprising to Morwell Neighbourhood House Manager Tracie Lund.

“This is the first time we have had an independent analysis that examines the economic and social impact of the community development work of a Neighbourhood House," Tracie said.

“The report validates that Neighbourhood Houses provide exceptional support in their role within their communities, thereby improving quality of life, supporting positive health and wellbeing outcomes, building community capacity, promoting community pride and identifying local solutions to local issues."

Deloitte found that in 2017, Morwell Neighbourhood House provided more than $600,000 in value to the local community, from an income of just $134,039. That equals a 350 per cent return on investment.

As well as this outstanding financial return, the report also found that Morwell Neighbourhood House provided significant community benefit by building individual and community resilience.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the Morwell Neighbourhood House is a great example of a community banding together to become resilient.

“Morwell have demonstrated that people helping each other is the foundation to building resilience in a community,” Mr Lapsley said.

“I urge other communities in Victoria to use the Morwell Neighbourhood House initiative to create or make changes for the better in community projects they may have going."

The social impact report analysed services provided by Morwell Neighbourhood House in a number of areas including health and wellbeing, pride, independence and resilience.

The report found that the project provided over 20,453 contact hours to participants from a diverse range of backgrounds.

The Neighbourhood House increased the quality of life of residents it helped through fostering relationship building and maintenance, and providing a stepping stone to social participation.

The Deloitte report said that services offered by the Neighbourhood House such as community lunches, social and support groups all contributed to resilient and sustainable relationships, personal wellbeing and confidence.

Read the full Deloitte report (External link).