Cur­tains for homes in need

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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