Wellbeing hub opens on Edwards Square, Murray Bridge
A previously underused building has been transformed into a community centre, a wellbeing hub and a haven for women.
A previously underused building in the heart of Murray Bridge has become a centre of positive energy for the community.
Laughter, conversation and healthy food filled the Square Community Centre for its official opening on Monday morning.
The former senior citizens’ building on Edwards Square will fulfil a few different roles in the community, hosting:
workshops and service provider visits, as part of Murray Bridge Community Centre
activities which boost people’s health and happiness, as a wellbeing hub
information services for women, as the Haven
The project is a partnership between the Murray Bridge council, the community centre, Wellbeing SA and the Office for Women, among other stakeholders.
Whatever people called it, Mayor Wayne Thorley said, the hub was sure to make a positive impact on the community.
“It’s terrific to see a building which has been lying vacant for a little while actually being utilised for something worthwhile and community-focused,” he said.
Wellbeing SA chief executive Lynn Dean said the wellbeing hub would be a place for local people to connect, learn, share and grow.
“Good health and wellbeing are the foundation for South Australians to live a long and healthy life,” she said.
“The hub will … focus on creating opportunities for social connection, encouraging wellbeing through food, promoting physical activity and improving mental health and wellbeing.”
Four women will work at the centre to begin with: Murray Bridge Community Centre’s Jade Porter and Sarah Smith, wellbeing hub project officer Bridgette Syrus and Haven coordinator Helen Mattick.
The Edwards Square building originally opened in 1979 as a senior citizens’ centre: the community’s way of thanking a generation who had lived through the Depression and World War II.
However, the local senior citizens club’s numbers dwindled over time and it vacated the centre in May 2021.
With its opening, the centre became the third wellbeing hub in South Australia, following others in Smithfield Plains and Naracoorte; and the new home of the first Haven in regional SA, which originally opened on Beatty Terrace in 2019.
As well as offering various activities throughout the week, it will serve as a home base for services which can reach locations all over the district.
Disclosure: The author is a Murray Bridge Community Centre board member.