LCC teaches new skills to locals

  • 29-2-2012
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LCC Volunteers work hard in our community garden. The produce from the garden will be used in cooking classes held at Peachey Place in the future.

The scorching summer heat did not deter Lutheran Community Care's dedicated volunteers from  cultivating a local area garden this season. Around 23 determined team members braved the scorching January days to till the petite but fertile strip of land behind the Peachey Place Living Skills Centre. Their  aim was to create a new permanent home for fresh veggies and fruit.

The group of volunteers, reflecting their neighbouring demographics, included 10 members of  the local Burundian community. The remaining volunteers were men and women with horticultural and gardening experience who are passionate to pass on their knowledge to those around them. The produce grown will eventually find its way to the benchtop of the 'Cooking Around the World' class held weekly for locals, says Co-ordinator Leanne Wood.

'The participants are given  the recipe once we have cooked it, so they can recreate it at home,' Leanne said. 'The Burundian participants want eggplant and a plant they call "Linga Linga", so these will be planted along with anything else that is sensible and can be planted this season.'

The Living Skills Centre, which has been the dream of a partnership between Playford Primary Health Care, the Burundian Association, Housing SA, the City of Playford, and Lutheran Community Care, was formally launched 8 December with a grand celebration boasting over 100 in attendance. Member for Napier, Minister Michael O'Brien led the celebration.

While Leanne hopes to have the complete list of courses finalised this month, City of Playford residents can expect great things. The main focus is on teaching every day living skills and building upon the strengths of each individual who walks through the doors. It will also be a venue where people can connect and build relationships with their neighbours.

'We hope to offer classes on a vast array of skills from financial literacy and financial counselling to cleaning and cooking,' Leanne said. 'We want to tap into those who are isolated within the community and figure out how we can best help them.'

LCC Director Helen Lockwood said the project is a welcomed adventure between the partner organisations as there has been a growing need within the region for some time.

'We wanted to build on the opportunities for learning together already offered at the offices at 50 Peachey Road through financial literacy sessions, financial counselling and the programs run through the Burundian Association for new arrivals,' she said.

One of the biggest needs amongst locals is a larger focus on literacy. Leanne said nearly 43 percent of the Playford community do not have the necessary standard of literacy knowledge to get them through life.

'If you think about it, that's a huge number who can't even read a recipe, let alone any other major documents they may be presented with in their life. Our ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for those who come to us and their families.'

Peachey Place Living Skills Centre is located at 50 Peachey Road, Davoren Park SA. For more information about  the project, contact Co-ordinator Leanne Wood at 08 7070 6711.