Stratford Community House provides a place from which primarily social services, can be delivered to residents of Central Taranaki district. It also offers office and meeting space for casual use by individuals or small groups.
It represents a shining example of what can be achieved when organisations collaborate in order to respond to community need.
Prior to conception, local organisations and social service providers were canvassed, along with regional service providers who were not at that stage present in Central Taranaki. Their views alongside the needs of the local community revealed the need for affordable office space, interview rooms, and meeting rooms. By 2008 the concept of a Community House to meet these needs had emerged.
Eventually the large section adjacent to Holy Trinity Church with access from Regan and Juliet Streets was identified as an ideal site for a ‘new build’. Conveniently, that land is owned by the Taranaki Anglican Trust Board.
The Stratford Community House Trust was established in March 2009, with Bishop Philip Richardson and the Mayor of Stratford as the settlors. A ground lease was signed with the Taranaki Anglican Trust Board and with funding secured from the Department of Internal Affairs, the Taranaki Electricity Trust and the TSB Community Trust, plus a bridging loan provided by the Diocese; in June 2010 the build commenced and the first tenants moved in early in 2011.
Since opening, the usage of the Community House has steadily increased. The increase in services offered from the house reflected the original aim up to attract more support services to be provided locally.
Our current Tenants include Stratford Community Foodbank, CCS Disability Action, Family Works, Stratford Family History, Tui Ora Youth Services, Taranaki Community Law, Nurture Taranaki, Wellstop, Te Kura Correspondence School as well as several part-time counsellors, social workers and Sarah Jones, Psychologist.