Caring for the community
The scones are cooling, the truffles have been carefully rolled and plans are afoot,
Amid the smells of baking and the light-hearted chatter, a more serious issue has brought members of one of New Zealand’s oldest branches of the New Zealand Federation of Women’s Institute together.
Four members of the Awatere branch are hard at work preparing for an important fundraiser, one which they hope will benefit the whole community.
A special Hats and Handbags fundraiser has been organised in a bid to fund Awatere Valley parish nurse Rachael Westenra to work more official hours.
Jane says with the absence of a GP in the small rural township, Rachel’s assistance is vital in supporting older people within the community.
‘‘She does an amazing job and is funded by the District Health board two days a week and partly by the parish but it would be great if she could be paid to do more.
‘‘She supports people in the community and will see them once they’ve had surgery or hear on the grapevine if someone needs help and just show up,’’ she says.
The Awatere branch was established in 1957.
President Annette Bury has been a member for three years after moving to the area. She is a past president of the Kenepuru branch.
She say the group are always keen to support women’s health, with past fundraisers benefiting ovarian and breast cancer support groups.
While the group has nine members, they are keen to hear from anyone else who might be interested in joining.
Member Jane Hall says following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November last year, members of Blenheim’s Inner Wheel club donated $500 to the women’s group.
‘‘We decided to use it in a way that would reach the most people and have subsidised the fundraising dinner at the event. Mental health and getting out and meeting people is really important and we try to help people get together,’’ she says.
The Hats and fundraiser takes Handbags place on Thursday at 6pm at Seddon Golf Club and tickets are sold out.
For further information about the group contact 021 264 7565.