Plunket family centre opens longer hours
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.
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.