HELPING HAND: Laidley Community Centre's new manager Alana Wahl takes a proactive approach.
HELPING HAND: Laidley Community Centre's new manager Alana Wahl takes a proactive approach. Contributed

Laidley Community Centre manager brings crucial experience

A FORMER police officer and passionate advocate for helping those in need, Laidley Community Centre's new manager wants to connect.

Alana Wahl's experience in the police force dealing with people who had hit rock bottom motivated her to find ways to help people before they reached those lows.

"It was easy to see how a simple chain of events could lead to people getting into trouble that was much harder to get out of than if they had received help sooner,” she said.

"In this role I am trying to spread the message that, when people start to feel things getting out of control, the sooner they look for support, the better.

"It's satisfying to be able to be proactive and give people a hand up when they are down on their luck.

"Taking a small amount of time to help now can have a major positive influence on someone's life over the longer term.”

Mrs Wahl moved into the community service sector after the floods in 2011, serving in a variety of positions, and joined the team at Laidley Community Centre in February.

"I've been made to feel so welcome by the community already, and there's already a great team at the community centre that I've been made to feel a part of, so I consider myself very lucky,” she said.

"I'm interested in listening to the locals to find out what they feel are the needs in the town and what programs we might be able to develop in response to that.

"We'd really like people to feel that the community centre has something for everyone and is just a great place to drop in and feel a sense of belonging.”

"One of my core focuses will be working on collaborating with other local organisations in the community, partnering to share events and resources and identifying what gaps there might be rather than duplicating existing services.”

The Laidley Community Centre offers a range of service from providing information and referrals, to running community events, and leading community connections.

The centre has recently undergone a series of major renovations to improve the accessibility for people with a disability and the team is excited to show off the improvements at their 30th birthday celebrations in late September.

Mrs Wahl said the organisation was always interested in welcoming new members.

"The board consists of organisation members who are elected to voluntary roles and meet regularly to steer the direction of the centre,” she said.

"We are very keen to hear from anyone who has an interest in Laidley, or would like to have input in what they would like to see from the centre.

"The best way for people to find out what is going on is to sign up to our quarterly newsletter email or follow us on Facebook.

"Now that the renovations are behind us we have lots of great events and activities being planned for later in the year and look forward to the community getting involved.”

To find out more about the centres services, membership, and to sign up for the monthly newsletter visit www.laidleycc.org.au or www.facebook.com/LaidleyCC