In early 2012, the board considered that the centre was in a sufficiently strong financial position to consider the purchase of a residential property which could be converted to a community asset. Bernie’s Place is ideally situated next door to the Neighbourhood Centre. The house underwent a refurbishment to open the upstairs area for meeting rooms, adding disability access and facilities, a storage room and a new carpark area. Bernie’s Place has provided an additional community meeting space for the past 5 years.
The Bernie’s Place Project was a response to this changing and growing community need as it provides a welcoming, non-threatening and homely location for small groups to interact, learn new skills and receive support from qualified counsellors and practitioners. The current community centre continues to provide meeting spaces for existing stakeholders and groups more suited to the environment in that space, such as computer classes, religious groups, and out-of-hours groups. The fact that the centre has outgrown the demand placed upon it clearly demonstrates the tremendous growth in the area, and the centre’s ability to successfully identify and respond to changing community need.