Greater Green Island Community Network workers Amanda Reid and Leanne Stenhouse feel the group has made a real difference over the past three years.
Mrs Reid and Ms Stenhouse took over from founding community worker Lynda Davidson a year ago and have continued to work on local issues, including road safety and lobbying and raising funds for a playground.
Operating under the umbrella of Presbyterian Support Otago, the network has also fostered local links with the establishment of The Greater Green Island Informer newsletter and has created an online presence (www.greatergreenisland.nz).
“We believe we have gained a lot of trust within the community. People can see that we are helping to get things done,” Mrs Reid said.
The network’s highest-profile success has been the community consultation around road safety, which led to a joint $750,000 proposal from the Dunedin City Council and the NZ Transport Agency to build three roundabouts in Green Island.
“It has been great to be able to take the people’s ideas and work effectively with councils and agencies on it,” Ms Stenhouse said.
Now that the three years of Department of Internal Affairs funding – $80,000 per year – is coming to an end, finding alternative sources of income has become a major focus.
Along with being part of the place-based community network coalition and lobbying council, the group was also creating a “Greater Green Island Supporters Club”, Mrs Reid said.
The aim was to encourage individuals to donate a small amount each month, and to work with businesses in a mutually supportive way.
“Both of us and our volunteer committee are passionate about keeping the network going,” Ms Stenhouse said.