New coun­sel­lors in town

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

Starfish So­cial Ser­vices def­i­nitely did not make the wrong decision when se­lect­ing its two new coun­sel­lors.

The en­thu­si­as­tic pair, Aaron Haworth and Han­nah Lee, joined the team at the start of Fe­bru­ary and have al­ready fit­ted right in.

They both fin­ished study­ing a Bach­e­lor of So­cial Sci­ence at Win­tec last year and will be work­ing at Starfish two days a week – Mr Haworth on Thurs­day and Fri­day and Ms Lee on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day – as youth and fam­ily coun­sel­lors.

‘‘We are look­ing for­ward to be­ing a part of the team here, get­ting to know the com­mu­nity of Mata­mata and strength­en­ing Starfish’s re­la­tion­ship with other or­gan­i­sa­tions in Mata­mata,’’ Mr Haworth said.

Starfish founder and coun­sel­lor Jo Mc­naughton said they brought a lot of strengths to the team which would ben­e­fit the youth in town.

‘‘ They bring fresh­ness, a youth, new ides and they are very well trained,’’ she said.

‘‘Aaron brings a lot of cross cul­tural ex­peri- ence and work with chil­dren and Han­nah has worked with fam­i­lies.’’

Mr Haworth trav­elled the world work­ing as an en­gi­neer for five years be­fore tak­ing up coun­selling af­ter he did mis­sion work in a num­ber of coun­tries in­clud­ing Nige­ria and Cam­bo­dia.

‘‘Those trips opened my eyes to the needs of this world. I grew up in a small town, so see­ing the con­trast of life­style and how much some peo­ple need, re­ally touched me,’’ he said.

‘‘I wanted to get into an area of work that had pur­pose and mean­ing. You can fix ma­chines all you want but they will only break down again but help­ing peo­ple is an hon­our. It is so cool to be a part of some­one’s jour­ney.’’

He has worked in youth and fam­ily coun­selling with Barnar­dos here in Mata­mata and at Cam­bridge Life Skills.

Ms Lee com­pleted work ex­pe­ri­ence at Fraser High School in Hamil­ton work­ing with youth and later with sin­gle par­ent fam­i­lies.

‘‘It is my pas­sion to see youth meet their full po­ten­tial.

‘‘Youth face a lot of chal­lenges these days so I want to get along­side the youth here and help them to over­come the things they are go­ing said.

‘‘It was my own life ex­pe­ri­ences that got me into coun­selling and gave me a heart for this type of work.’’

She said she had a huge re­spect for peo­ple who came in to chat to coun­sel­lors be­cause it took a lot of brav­ery to walk through the door.

But that is what Mr Haworth and Ms Lee are here for.

If any­one needs some­one to talk to, they can call into the Starfish cen­tre on Arawa St.

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Here to help: Aaron Haworth and Han­nah Lee have joined the team of coun­sel­lors at Starfish.

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