Strengthening schools’ wider community connections, sparking collaborations and sharing good practice are at the heart of a Sport Waitākere initiative, named the Hui Hub.
The first Hui Hub took place in July 2021, bringing a range of community leaders and providers together with teaching teams from West Auckland schools to share their contacts and connections.
Co-ordinated by the Healthy Active Learning team at Sport Waitākere, the first Hui saw more than 40 different community organisations, including health providers, community hubs/houses and community clubs, come together with six West Auckland schools.
Healthy Active Learning Community Connector at Sport Waitākere, Christian Curtis, says the concept is focused on the power of harnessing community collaboration to benefit local schools, with a shared kaupapa of improving community wellbeing.
“We saw a need to create a forum for sharing good practice, creating opportunities for collaboration and developing meaningful relationships in the community. We see it as a perfect opportunity for community to come together and share their contacts as well as build a tuakana-teina type relationship with schools.
“Originally, we worked with an Auckland Council staff member who was the relationship manager for 12 Community Hubs and Houses across West Auckland. It was obvious that certain community groups held a lot more connections than others in the community. And some community groups found it hard to engage with schools in a meaningful way,” explains Christian.
Based on the success and learnings of the first Hui Hub, a second event took place in August, bringing together more than 120 community members from 70 different organisations. Operating in an expo style, the Hub included 15 different presentations from an array of organisations.
Contributing partners included Foundation North, Department of Internal Affairs, Auckland Council, the Fono, Visionwest, Waiperaira, Henderson Budget Services, Ministry of Justice, Community Action on Youth and Drugs CAYAD, Te Atatū Roosters, Te Atatū Peninsula Community Centre, Sport Waitākere, Massey Matters and Magic Play Box.
For schools, the Hui Hub provides valuable connection points with the community.
“Experience has shown us that members of our school community want access to tangible examples of wellbeing initiatives available in the community. They also want assistance accessing funding to support them and access to community navigators who can connect them with budgeting services, and other things such as kai, stationary packs and clothing,” adds Christian.
For Vicki Hitchcock, Principal of West Harbour School, the Hui Hub has provided a welcome opportunity for the school.
“Sport Waitakere's 'Hui Hub' is a great concept. I was able to meet a range of providers in one space, therefore saving time. Another benefit was the opportunity to talk with other participants and hear about their plans. The networking opportunities are invaluable.
“This whakatauki reminds me of the Hui Hub - it talks to community, to collaboration and a strengths-based approach. It acknowledges that everybody has something to offer, a piece of the puzzle, and by working together we can all flourish. Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi - With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive,” adds Vicki.
Based on the success of the events to date and feedback from participants, it is anticipated that the Hui Hub will become a regular event operating several times within each school year.
Article added: Tuesday 13 December 2022