Prioritising community health at Heart Focus

Team effort: John Lamb, Nikki Shaw and Rein Hermens pose in the café of Heart Focus Community Church. Photograph Tom Hayes



A BRAND new community health church was officially opened last week, serving to a range of different locals who need help with various aspects of life.

Heart Focus Community Church, located on 46-48 Buckley Street, Morwell, offers a range of services to the local area, and hopes to add more in the future.

When you walk into the centre, you receive a warm, welcoming feeling from the get-go, and as you enter, you walk straight into what they call the Connect Area.

In the Connect Area, patrons can get a drink and a bite to eat, while socialising with centre members or people in similar life situations.

Down the hallway is a food bank, which is purchased by the organisation each week.

They receive four to six pallets of stock each week for people to provide for themselves and their families.

The food bank supports healthy eating habits, stocking healthy food and meals for people.

Every Friday night at 6.30pm, the Café Church provides a short service, speaking on subjects within today’s issues and how the word of God relates to current events.

Around 50 people per week attend this event, while the food bank caters for around another 150 people per week.

Heart Focus Community Church offers life skill courses, all based around life improvement in different aspects, ranging from relationships to finances and addictions to spirituality.

Currently in progress is a recording studio, where they hope to record courses or music with a narrative.

Once available, the centre will upload pieces for people to hear on mainstream platforms.

Being in the heart of Morwell, there is plenty of health services surrounding, which means if they can’t help you, someone else can.

The centre can refer people to other services which they can then receive proper treatment if they feel like they need it.

The demographic of the centre revolves around adults with a range of differences, including unemployment, pensioners, people struggling to make ends meet (the working poor), and single parents.

“The demographic you could say is anywhere from about 18 (years old),” Heart Focus Community Church’s John Lamb said.

Heart Focus Community Church isn’t like other community health services, as they run out of their own pocket, and isn’t government funded.

All that is needed to receive their services is proof of a healthcare card and a $10 donation (if possible) to unlock every service on the day.

“It’s a safe environment for them to come in and connect with people,” Mr Lamb said.

“Some of them make life-long friends here.”

The centre accepts donations, whether in the form of cash or vouchers (to be given to participants), in order to keep the church running.

Mr Lamb reminds people that come through that “This is not the end of the road”, as he hopes to help them get back on their feet.

The Heart Focus Community Church is open on Monday and Tuesday from 10am until 1pm, and Thursday from 10am until 1pm and 3.30pm until 5.30pm, and the Café Church is open on Friday’s at 6.30pm.

The staff have various backgrounds, Mr Lamb has worked within addiction reforming and counselling, Nikki Shaw is an educational support officer at Lavalla in Traralgon, and co-ordinator Rein Hermans is a former fitter and turner at Loy Yang who has now become involved in this line of work in the last 20 years.

To see what is available and talk to staff, go to 46-48 Buckley Street, Morwell and talk to the friendly staff to see what they can do for you.