WHEN Doonside Community Health Centre opened in 1992, all it was waiting for was the community.
Now, on the eve of its 20th birthday, the centre is a welcoming hive of activity for parents and children.
Services have expanded from nursing and counselling to include immunisation, baby and antenatal clinics, speech pathology, occupational therapy, counselling, occasional child care and developmental checks.
Plumpton resident Leanne Duncan said she first noticed the centre while shopping nearby and sent her son Matthew, now 14, to the childcare service, which she found very supportive.
‘‘At that time my son had development problems and a lot of other preschools wouldn’t accept him,’’ she said.
‘‘[The centre] took him along and really helped.’’
While visiting with her nan Carol last week, Mrs Duncan’s niece Janayah, 10, found a photo of herself in the childcare centre’s photo books — pirouetting in a pink jumper at the age of four.
Her brother and cousin also attend.
‘‘We just followed along because they’ve been so happy here,’’ Mrs Ferguson said.
Manager of Blacktown, Doonside and Hills community health services, Jo Fuller, said Doonside’s community health centre started as a generic community health centre with services for families, the frail aged and chronically ill.
Now the Doonside facility is specifically used by children and families.
The centre provides services to about two- thirds of the Blacktown local government area, from Riverstone and The Ponds out to Toongabbie.
Ms Fuller said about 25 per cent of referrals to the centre were families who spoke English as a second language, including those from African, Afghan, Chinese and Indian communities.