Northcote Preston Helping Hand Association

Northern Support Services (NSS) first opened its doors in 1947 under the name of Northcote Preston Helping Hand Association. The organisation was created when a small group of parents with disabled children got together to discuss ideas and draw up proposed plans in which they could provide support to each other. The support was in the form of respite for parents and providing meaningful day activities and skill development for their children

In the early years of Northcote Preston Helping Hand Association, we lobbied the John Cain Government, for finance to build a new centre. NSS was successful in gaining financial support for the construction of the purpose built building on the railway land at the junction of Hutton and Ethel Street, in Thornbury.

Enrolments at the centre continued to increase and the need for more space for activities was becoming a great necessity. A second building was completed and officially opened by the Hon. E.J. Cameron, Minister for Health. The new building gave the centre the opportunity to expand its services and offer workshop activities.

In June 2001 with a new board of management and premises, Northcote Preston Helping Hand Association was ready for a new name. At the special general meeting the name of Northern Support Services for people with disabilities Inc. was voted.

In the same year, a program called “TrainingWorx” was created at the Darebin Resource and Recovery Centre. A small but dedicated group of clients, staff and members from the council built up an impressive program that related to all aspects of recycling.

Another program was set up in 2001 to deliver an outreach support. Darebin Libraries provided support to individual clients and the provision of skill development packages through the HomeFirst program. In March 2002, NSS moved into new premises at 30 Union Street Northcote. 

The first Centre in Ethel Street was opened by the Governor, Sir Dallas Brooks, on 19 May 1956  at a cost of £30,000.

Northcote Support Services for people with disabilities. Retrieved July 2012 from

Northcote Leader 9 May, 1956