Linking the community over a long lunch

Social tree: Michelle Canbulet of Uniting Home and Community Centre and Beck Minear of Uniting Ability Links at Merimbula's lunch at the Uniting Church Hall on Monday. Photo: Claudia Ferguson
Social tree: Michelle Canbulet of Uniting Home and Community Centre and Beck Minear of Uniting Ability Links at Merimbula's lunch at the Uniting Church Hall on Monday. Photo: Claudia Ferguson

Uniting Ability Links is inviting members of the community to share ideas around a table of tasty treats.

Lower your fences, lengthen your table will be travelling around the Bega Valley Shire to create a sense of belonging in the community.

Merimbula hosted the first lunch at the Uniting Church Hall on Monday 26.

Linker Beck Minear of Uniting Ability Links is passionate about breaking down barriers and helping to connect people with their interests.

“I am a linker, starting with a person centered approach helping individuals to network.

“I connect people at a grassroots level and what a great way to do that meeting over food,” she said.

“Community is the heart of what we do. We work with all kinds of people, helping with community engagement and capacity building.”

Eden will host the next Lower your fences, lengthen your table in conjunction with Uniting’s community lunch which currently takes place each Monday. 

“We will be setting up at Eden next, Bega and Bombala as well as other parts of the Bega Valley.

“We will be tailoring the lunch to suit each community, so we are open to any ideas or suggestions,” Ms Minear said.

The lunch not only has a long table of food but also has table that has been set with social inclusion material.

“People who have come and met one another often want to pass on their details, instead of fussing about for a pen and paper, they can create their own business cards using supplies from the table.”

“We listen to ideas, there are community skills and passion forms and a social inclusions tree which encourages ideas and suggestions on making things more inclusive,” she said. 

Christine Welsh placing a suggestion to the community on the social inclusions tree.

Christine Welsh placing a suggestion to the community on the social inclusions tree.

Ability Links supports over 43,500 people across NSW each year and have had many touching success stories. They have connected people with disabilities to employment opportunities, helped aspiring authors to achieve their dream and have helped to breakdown barriers for those who are lonely and isolated in the community. Linkers also work with children who have been socially disconnected at school, connecting them to certain activities and groups of the community.

Linkers have strong local knowledge and work with all people and communities, including people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Aboriginal communities. 

For more information visit the Ability Links at Uniting website or contact Beck Minear on 0455 099 803.