Fresh faces, services to support families
There are fresh faces and new services for people seeking support around Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes District.
Presbyterian Support Otago Family Works Services practice manager Rachel McAnally said the service had employed new ‘‘buddy co-ordinators’’ and had employed three financial mentors for a new contract they had acquired.
‘‘The financial mentoring is a new service for us. We are very excited because it gives us a more wrap around approach supporting individuals and families.
‘‘It is a new model put out by the Ministry of Social Development which is a strength-based approach that aims to build financial independence for people. We have already seen really cool outcomes from it.’’
Financial mentors Bruce Smith and Sandra O’Neill worked across the Central Otago and Maniototo regions, while Nancy McMillan would be based in Queenstown.
‘‘The financial mentors work one on one and also provide money mate groups to support people to take control of their finances.’’
A new buddy co-ordinator Helen Bond worked 20 hours a week covering Alexandra and Cromwell, while Sharon Bell covers Wanaka. The buddy programme was a mentoring programme for children aged between four and 12.
‘‘We train and match adult buddy volunteers and match them to children who require some extra input into their lives due to differing family situations. We are always looking for volunteers to match with children on the waiting list. We currently have 11 on the waiting list. There is a capacity to have 40 matches around the Central Otago area.’’
‘‘Buddies don’t get involved in school or dramas. It is one on one and it helps build and develop children’s social skills and gives them different experiences. It might just be flying a kite...it is about low to nocost activities.’’
The service’s social workers also provided parenting support either one on one or through an ‘‘Incredible Years’’ parenting programme, advocacy and group programmes.
‘‘We work with families, individuals, elderly and anyone experiencing a challenging time in their life.’’
There are premises at Alexandra Community House and referrals can be made via familyworksotago.org.nz or call Rachel on 0273457571.
Presbyterian Support Otago Family Works Services team.