De Putter is an example of how small communities that are facing a declining level of services can improve their livelihood and promote social cohesion.
The five hundred inhabitants of Oostdijk were facing a declining level of available services. The shops were shutting down and the library closed down as well. Due to cutbacks and the decentralisation of the care system, the healthcare services were also under pressure. To revert this situation the village council decided to convert the old kindergarten into a multifunctional community centre, called De Putter. As soon as financing was granted, the building was renovated by professionals, volunteers and civil engineering students. Thanks to De Putter, the village has not only a supermarket but also a meeting place, a modest tourist attraction and a library.
From Monday to Friday De Putter offers day-to-day support to the local people.
Due to the small-scale care service, the number of clients is limited to a maximum of five patients per day.
De Putter has a functional library, a store and a cafe and provides both educational and healthcare services to the municipality.
Over 36 volunteers are actively involved.