Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Inc. believes in an equal society in which all members of the community are valued and free to participate for the greater good, where;
- Diversity is celebrated
- Democracy flourishes and
- Community spirit is enhanced
Our Statement of Purpose
Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Inc. will offer a service free of discrimination or bias to all persons and groups in the community of Bellingen Shire with an aim to being proactive and innovative in the relief of poverty, destitution, suffering, misfortune, conflict and other disadvantages.
Our Objectives –
- Provide a welcoming place where people feel comfortable and can receive practical assistance, emotional support or counselling as required to enable them to effectively cope as individuals in society;
- Assist people to access the most appropriate service or facility by providing and promoting comprehensive information about and referral to relevant community and welfare services;
- Facilitate and support community development through community education programs, the provision of a diverse range of services, activities and events as well as promoting public knowledge of community services, needs and resources in the local area;
- Work collaboratively with service agencies and community groups in order to minimize duplication and maximize effectiveness and effort;
- Support and lead collective social action to encourage community and individual citizen participation.
Funding – where does it come from?
The majority comes from:
- The NSW Department Family and Community Services (FaCS) for the BNC Inc. core project and Bellingen Shire Youth Services (BSYS).
- The NSW Office of Fair Trading and Department of Social Services for the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS®)
- The Department of Social Services for the Emergency Relief Program.
What is the role of BNC Inc.?
Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Inc. (BNC Inc.) is a non-profit community organisation that works to assist individuals, families, and groups throughout the Bellingen Shire. We are managed by a community Management Committee that represents a strong local membership base.
Being an Incorporated Association means that the organisation is a legal entity. The Management Committee is therefore accountable and responsible for employing staff, as well ensuring that all legal, financial, statutory, and administrative commitments are met. BNC Inc. is required to have a constitution, hold an Annual General Meeting, elect Management Committee members, and audit all financial records annually.
Fundamentally, the role of BNC Inc. is to:
- Promote social justice principles, e.g. access & equity, not judging people, respect.
- Perform a strong community development role, and
- Auspice (sponsor) and support appropriate, often unfunded community groups (i.e. those that fit within our Constitution and objects).
What does “auspice” mean?
To “Auspice” means to sponsor or provide a legal umbrella for a group. The metaphor often used to describe the BNC Inc. Auspice process is that of a mother hen in a nest. The hen (BNC Inc.) hatches baby chicks (e.g. by securing funding for services and groups), supports and nourishes their growth until they grow up and are old enough to leave the nest. (e.g. they may become Incorporated themselves). The projects BNC Inc. auspices are the baby chickens. Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Incorporated currently auspices:
- Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre Core Project (which also includes the Generalist Counselling Service, Tax Help and the Community Directory).
- Bellingen Shire Youth Services
- Bellingen Shire NILS®
- Emergency Relief Project
- Bellingen Centrelink Agency
In the past, BNC Inc. auspiced
- Adult & Community Education (ACE)
- Bellingen Shire Bereavement Service (BSBS)
- Bellingen Shire Support Network (BSSN)
- Family Day Care
- Mensline – Mid North Coast
- The Bellinger River Hospital Action Group
- Bellingen Community Garden
Most of which became incorporated on their own and hence left the BNC Inc. nest.