Plun­ket fam­ily cen­tre opens longer hours

Central Leader - - News - By Carly Tawhiao

Open late night Wed­nes­days and Satur­day morn­ings is the new catch call for Auck­land city’s Plun­ket.

From to­mor­row un­til the end of the year, the or­gan­i­sa­tion will trial ex­tra hours at its Mt Eden fam­ily cen­tre thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Lion Foun­da­tion.

Plun­ket fam­ily cen­tres, also lo­cated in Mead­ow­bank and Pon­sonby, of­fer in­ten- sive sup­port on chil­dren’s health is­sues such as nutri­tion, sleep­ing and be­havioural needs.

Auck­land Plun­ket coun­cil­lor Sa­man­tha Newby-Why­brow says the de­ci­sion to ex­tend the hours came out of a fam­ily cen­tre re­view that is looking into ser­vice im­prove­ments.

“We thought it would be good to of­fer more flex­i­ble ser­vices for par­ents and we ap­plied for fund­ing to pro­vide eight more hours of nurs­ing at each fam­ily cen­tre.”

Al­though the Auck­land branch asked for $41,000 to cover ex­tra hours at all three fam­ily cen­tres, they re­ceived a quar­ter of the re­quested amount to pi­lot the scheme.

“We should be able to get a pic­ture in six months time that can in­form us about go­ing ahead,” says Ms New­byWhy­brow.

As well as an on-duty nurse, the cen­tre will also em­ploy a host­ess to meet and greet clients us­ing the clinic.

Anita Lock is one of those clients who be­came fa­mil­iar with the fam­ily cen­tre when her el­dest son was nine weeks old.

“I know about the amaz­ing work fam­ily cen­tres do and I think this is a re­ally good idea.

“Work­ing par­ents of­ten miss out on the ad­min­is­tra- tive tasks like keep­ing their kids’ Well Child check book up to date so it’s great to have that ad­di­tional sup­port out there.”

Lion Foun­da­tion grants gen­eral man­ager Don Jud­kins says as a broad-based com­mu­nity fun­der, it saw a need in the com­mu­nity to help the “ham­pered” ser­vice for one to five-year-olds and their fam­i­lies.

“We pledged half a mil­lion dol­lars to Plun­ket New Zea- land, who then dis­trib­uted it na­tion­ally. We re­ceive our rev­enue through pokie ma­chines and we’re very grate­ful that funds raised lo­cally are go­ing back into the com­mu­nity.”

The Mt Eden fam­ily cen­tre is lo­cated at 159 Land­scape Rd, Mt Eden, and is open un­til 7pm on Wed­nes­day nights and from 9am to 1pm on Satur­days. For in­for­ma­tion or to make an ap­point­ment phone 620-8539.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

In­quiry learn­ing: Wes­ley In­ter­me­di­ate School pupils, from left: Sameeha Su­la­man, Charles Harder and John Pi­card, all 12, with deputy prin­ci­pal Heather Collins, can use com­put­ers in the class­room thanks to New Zealand Credit Union.

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