Com­mu­nity vi­sion at heart of new role

Ruapehu Press - - Your Local News - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

The new chair of the Waimarino Rest Home Trust comes with a wealth of knowl­edge and a fresh ap­proach.

Deb­o­rah Lowen didn’t hes­i­tate when she was asked to take over the reigns from Neil Groom­bridge.

Re­ly­ing on her back­ground work­ing with so­cial hous­ing in London in the 1980s Lowen felt it was a good nat­u­ral fit.

She ac­knowl­edged Groom­bridge’s achieve­ments and said the team wanted to build on that and get the Respite Care pro­gramme up and run­ning again.

‘‘Neil left the place in a much bet­ter shape than it was.

‘‘The idea is that we would run ac­tiv­i­ties, day care, respite care in the com­mu­nity room for who­ever needed it in the area.’’

Four stu­dio apart­ments, de­signed for dis­abled peo­ple, was one of Groom­bridge’s achieve­ments.

Lowen said these are the only res­i­den­tial ac­com­mo­da­tion for dis­abled peo­ple she knows of in the area.

The trust also man­ages the rest of the flats on be­half of the Ruapehu Dis­trict Coun­cil.

Ten­ders are be­ing sought to re­paint the flats from ‘‘in­sti­tu­tional green’’ to a mod­ern fresh colour.

‘‘We would like to see more of our tar­get group in the flats. At the mo­ment we’ve got a bit of a mix­ture.’’

At the top of the agenda is get­ting the Respite Care pro­gramme set up in­clud­ing the Waimarino Film So­ci­ety.

The so­ci­ety plans to start show­ing films next year at the Rest Home Cen­tre af­ter plans to start this year were de­layed.

‘‘We’ll be able to show films at the respite care and then we’ll be able to have evening show­ings in our own cen­tre for any­body want­ing to join so that’s go­ing to be an amaz­ing ser­vice for the whole com­mu­nity.

‘‘I don’t think there is an­other one in the coun­try that will be as tiny as ours. No­body’s done it in a tiny ru­ral place.’’

Com­mu­nity sup­port will be needed to help the Film So­ci­ety con­tinue to op­er­ate suc­cess­fully.

Lowen said there is po­ten­tial for the respite care pro­gramme to grow and ser­vice other peo­ple within the dis­trict which is planned for next year.

‘‘One or two af­ter­noons a week peo­ple can have a break and we’ll just look af­ter them and en­ter­tain them.’’

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