First Community Helpdesk to Open in St. Peters

Residents of St. Peters will get their first Community Helpdesk on Monday afternoon at 5.30pm when the first one-stop shop for community public services is officially opened at the Rupert Maynard Community Centre. It’s all about bringing social services to the people.Residents are invited to come out to the grand opening and find out what services the helpdesk will be offering directly to the St. Peters community.

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The Community Helpdesk which is part of the new Integrated Neighbourhood Development Program (INDP) is seen as an important step in bringing community public services directly to the people in the neighbourhood where they live, work and go to school.

Community helpdesk services are already being provided in Dutch Quarter next to the Dr. Brison Clinic and in January one will be opened in Cole Bay at the Methodist Church Community Centre.

The departments involved in the INDP are Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs, Labour Affairs, Social Affairs and the Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS).

Over the past months a number of district surveys have been carried out followed by a workshop on team building of the aforementioned departments that would be involved with providing services at the community helpdesk.

The target groups that the Community Helpdesks will be catering too are: elderly, youths, and parents, single mothers, teenage mothers, drug-addicts, chronically ill patients, the mentally ill, persons living below the minimum wage or the poverty level.

The Community Helpdesk will have community and district staff members from the Department of Community Development at each helpdesk on a daily basis; a social worker will also be present one day in the week at each location; the Department of Social Services will have a person at each desk four hours per week as well as the Department of Labour; the CPS will give information sessions at each desk and will carry out baby clinic services in Dutch Quarter starting in 2012.

The Community Helpdesk will be collaborating with various other agencies for future empowerment programs.

The INDP project is responsible for the improvement of the neighbourhoods. It is a proactive process of integrating social, cultural, economic and environmental planning to build community commitment and capacity.

A holistic approach has been developed in order to provide the assistance to communities in need.

The INDP falls under the responsibilities of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour.