Curtains for homes in need
Porirua residents have the opportunity to help make their home warmer and healthier next month, thanks to an initiative run by the Sustainability Trust.
The Wellington Curtain Bank will have representatives at the Fanau Centre in Cannons Creek on June 13, 15 and 17, and those on a low income – a community services card is required to be eligible – who have ineffective curtains in their living area can drop in with measurements. The service is free.
Porirua residents who have spare curtains to donate can also drop them in to the Fanau Centre in the next fortnight.
The curtain bank opened in July last year and is available to anyone in the Wellington region, says the Sustainability Trust’s community projects manager Christina Bellis.
‘‘Through a lot of word-of-mouth, community organisations and churches, we gave out 275 pairs of curtains in 2010.
‘‘We’ve been open two months so far this year and given out over 200 already, but there’s still plenty of people out there who don’t know this service exists.’’
Ms Bellis says it is hard when she hears of families who have sheets draped across windows, especially in winter.
There are the obvious health benefits to new and quality recycled drapes – many will be relined – with Porirua East a particular target area, she says.
‘‘This region is cold, it’s not just the South Island that gets hit during winter.
‘‘Properly fitted, a good set of curtains gives privacy and retains heat – in most cases we either make or recycle curtains for the lounge and dining areas, but on a case-by-case basis we will look at bedrooms as well.’’
Cannons Creek resident Bakr Alwan had new curtains put up in his Housing New Zealand abode. He works with refugees and says an initiative like the curtain bank is worthy of plenty of publicity.
‘‘They do such a good job. I contacted them [the Sustainability Trust] and had the curtains up in a week; I was very impressed. My other curtains were dark and old and these are nearly new.’’
The Fanau Centre’s manager Liz Kelly says it is important people take up this opportunity.
‘‘Through our relationships with this community, we hear a lot about how curtains in many homes are not of a good quality. When one of the solutions to keeping families well is warm homes, this [curtain bank] can go some way towards that.’’
Ms Kelly says it is a very brief assessment and families are able to choose the curtains. As it is important they are hung correctly, the Fanau Centre will offer a handyman to do it, free of charge.
Ms Bellis says the help of sponsors Genesis Energy and Lewis’s makes the curtain bank possible.
Measurement forms are available at the Fanau Centre or from sustaintrust.org.nz.