Over the last year Tweed Heads Bowls Club has supported the Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre’s Side by Side program. The Side by Side (SbS) program is an holistic, family support group that exists for primary school-aged children with autism, their siblings and parents/carers and extended family members. The SbS program focuses on the needs of children by creating opportunities for them to develop and practice social skills and make friends whilst playing, creating or working side by side. It is highly popular, unique to our area and reliant on donations to continue to operate.

Tweed Heads Bowls Club’s donation to the group enabled SbS to deliver a facilitated arts, crafts and drama program which included:

  • Making pinch pots and decorating sticks for contributing to a community artwork at the 2016 Kinship Festival
  • Constructing a puppet theatre, creating puppets and writing and performing a play for the group’s entertainment
  • Participating in a sensory nature painting activity – using found objects to use as paint brushes and stamps
  • Creating Indigenous-inspired rock art – guided by an Aboriginal participant. The group used garden pebbles as their ‘canvas’ and painted Aboriginal rock art symbols while learning about their cultural significance
  • Creating collage artworks
  • Painting and decorating re-usable material bags
  • Creating and painting message sticks
  • Constructing a nature-inspired mandala

Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre
Pictured is the nature-inspired mandala, designed and created by the children. This activity involved giving the families a brief of the type of objects that would suit the overall design and enabling them to go on a nature walk to find suitable objects. The group was very invested in this activity and thrilled with the result! We think it’s terrific, and our Club is very proud to support Side by Side and our local families.