Young peo­ple are Poppy’s pas­sion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

‘‘I love Can­nons Creek. I wasn’t born here, but it’s in my heart, it’s my home.’’

Kathy Day­mond – known to all as Poppy – has re­ceived a Porirua Civic Award for her work with young peo­ple and her com­mu­nity.

Re­ceiv­ing the ac­co­lade at Pataka was ‘‘thrilling’’, she said, and she ad­mit­ted hav­ing tears in her eyes – though a smaller ges­ture would have been just as re­ward­ing.

‘‘All I ex­pect from peo­ple is to hear ‘thank you’ now and then. That speaks more than awards and 1000 other words.’’

Poppy has been a fix­ture at the Can­nons Creek Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tre for more than 14 years.

Day­mond ’ Kathy hold her back.

Orig­i­nally from the Chatham Is­lands, Poppy raised 35 fos­ter chil­dren with her part­ner in the 36 years they lived in Para­pa­raumu.

She opened the first ko­hanga reo in Kapiti, and was a pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer and a Porirua Health­links Board trus­tee.

Poppy has lived in Can­nons Creek for 20 years, and is the Puare Trust chair­per­son and a Fanau Cen­tre Trust Board mem­ber, but can be found most days at the Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tre, where she vol­un­teers.

She is the chair­per­son of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s board, but when Kapi-Mana News vis­ited last week, she was mop­ping floors.

The crutches she uses, hav­ing been stricken with po­lio as a baby, clearly don’t The young peo­ple of the Creek are her fo­cus. ‘‘To me it’s a real pas­sion, work­ing with youth, not some­thing you can switch on and off. You see things and hear things – there’s a lot more pres­sure on young peo­ple to­day, so I just lis­ten and try to help.

‘‘Kids are a trea­sure, and you only get them for a short time, so we have to make a dif­fer­ence in their lives.

‘‘I es­pe­cially love the riff-raff. I know where they’re com­ing from.’’

Poppy is proud that she can walk from her home to the Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tre in the dead of night and not be ac­costed – more of­ten than not, she will be es­corted.

‘‘There’s no such thing as a ‘ bad’ area, as peo­ple call the Creek. It’s what you make of it, and my heart be­longs here, in this com­mu­nity.’’

Mother fig­ure: Kathy ‘Poppy’ Day­mond be­gan the first graf­fiti arts class in Porirua some years ago, and is happy to see the classes ex­panded and in­volv­ing men­tors like artist Michel Tuf­frey.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.