The CityServe Vision: Transforming our city together through service.
How Does That Work
CityServe is a unique initiative that embraces collaborative working partnerships between council, business and community organisations to benefit the community.
What it Looks Like
- Homes of the needy painted and repaired
- Public facilities such as surf clubs and sporting grounds cleaned, painted and repaired
- Parks mulched and streets spaces painted and cleaned
- Schools and Childcare centers painted and playgrounds restored
- Community halls and centres
Where it Happens
- The management of CityServe is facilitated by volunteer operation teams.
- The Hunter Region Operation team is led by Pastor Rick Prosser
- The Shellharbour Operation team is led by Pastor Shane Cook
The CityServe Story
CityServe Australia was initiated in the Hunter Region where there has always been a great serving tradition. People give of their time, energy and resources to serve others, particularly those doing it tough.
CityServe builds on this great tradition!
In 2011 a group of Newcastle Pastors began a partnership with the Luis Palau association to host an outreach festival in Newcastle. In November 2012 a 2 day festival was held in the heart of the City, tens of thousands of people attended. Prior to the festival the Palau Association proposed that the churches pick up on the concept of a “Season of Service”.Through Compassion’s programs, children are supported through every stage of life, and are equipped to bring lasting change to their families and communities.
In 2012 the ‘Season of Service’ concept was adapted for Newcastle to a ‘One Day’ project with the hope that by limiting projects to one day or weekend it might make it an achievable goal for churches. The intention was that this would become an annual focus that connected the church to the community. In 2012 more than 1000 volunteers serving across the Hunter completed 100 + community projects; school playgrounds and facilities were transformed, derelict city buildings painted, streets and parks cleaned and homes or gardens of the needy given a makeover.
In 2013 City Serve was again embraced by the churches of the region. Lake Macquarie City Council with the support of their Mayor Cr Jodie Harrison and LMCC project manager Brad Smith joined the CityServe initiative. In the Newcastle a unique partnership emerged between the Church, Newcastle City Council, Hunter Surf Life Saving and the business community. This partnership arose when 5 City Church pastors asked the Lord Mayor how they could assist the city and the ‘surf club renewal projects’ were established. The goal was to paint, clean and restore 6 Hunter Surf Clubs over 5 weekends. During the project 800 people volunteered contributing around 5000 work hrs. The estimated total value was over $550 000.
In 2014 the church continued to reach out and expand its service in the community. Director Infrastructure NCC Frank Cordingley described CityServe as “a fantastic example of people caring about their communities and being willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in for positive change.” He described his experience of the CityServe volunteer program as being, “one of the best that he has observed throughout his career in council.”CityServe Evaluation Report 2014
In 2014 CityServe was established in Shellharbour. A group of pastors heard about the Newcastle initiative and approached Rick Prosser to establish the program in their local area. The ‘Little Park’ Project was successfully completed; 150 plus volunteers contribute 750 hours of move tonnes of topsoil, soft fall and mulch throughout the park. Gardens were tidied, and fences, handrails and gates repainted. The volunteers partnered with Shellharbour local council and a sense of community and unity established.