Piece by piece

Day to Day Living co-coordinator Margaret Smith lends a hand to the AFOL group. From left - Sue Maller, Gary Casey, David Allen. PHOTO: Paul Albert

THE EMERALD Neighbourhood Centre is building stronger community connections with the introduction of their new Adult Fans of Lego (AFOL) social group.
The group is the latest addition to the center’s Day to Day Living program, designed to connect individuals experiencing social isolation and those seeking community.
Day to Day Living Co-Coordinator Margaret Smith said the program had initially been introduced as a one-off trial but was so successful it now formed part of the ongoing program.
“It’s gone from a bit of a pie in the sky to actually happening, so that’s good,” she said.
“I think it’s a program that’s going to grow.”
Mrs Smith said the idea for the AFOL group arose out of a desire to cater to and help as many people as possible.
“Even with all the services we offer, there were still people falling through the cracks,” she said.
“We want to offer them something different, and something that would benefit them.
“Programs are usually built around having a cuppa and doing something.
“We give them a cuppa and they just sort of form that little bond.”
Mrs Smith said breaking the social isolation many attendees experience was a vital part of catering to and caring for people in the community.
“Whether it’s through health or isolation or family problems… I think what happens is they come here and it’s all confidential… they don’t have to worry about explaining themselves,” she said.
“I think the freedom for them is to talk in a closed group and they’re not ashamed of whatever the reason is they’re suffering from.
“Sometimes, when they’re interacting or talking, something might come up, even if they’re just talking about being frustrated with LEGO, that the others can relate to.
“I think that’s great.”