Growing community support for Tahunanui
Cooking classes and dance sessions for mums and bubs are just some of the activities keeping Nelsonians entertained in the new Tahunanui Community Centre.
Centre manager Judy Robinson said the profile of the centre on Muritai St had grown so much in the past eight months that it now had people dropping in every day.
The organisation moved into the building, formerly home to the Pasifika Trust, in October last year after it was purchased by the Nelson City Council.
Robinson said the move had been six years in the making and since then, the centre had gone from strength to strength.
There are about 10 fulltime and part-time staff members, including social workers, youth workers, teachers and community development staff.
When the activity programme began in January 2017 there were 14 regular activities, now there are more than 20.
The number of people dropping in had also increased dramatically since it had moved into the new building.
Previously, the community centre consisted of offices and a meeting room based in the preschool building next door.
‘‘Before we had the children’s centre and the two gates to get through so we didn’t get so many, but now we have daily drop ins.’’
A room at the back of the hall was being developed into a health suite and it was hoped a social worker and community nurse would be able to use the space in the future to see people for appointments.
Distributing food parcels had also become an integral part of the service.
The centre ran a food recovery programme to save unsold produce and bakery items from Richmond Fresh Choice and the Fresh As Bakery in Tahunanui.
‘‘People come every day for food; it also brings in people to talk about other things.’’
Robinson said more people were also volunteering.
‘‘I hadn’t anticipated how involved the community would get. We have some people who come in and take fitness classes and cooking classes, they do all sorts of things.
‘‘It’s the people in the community that are working for the other community members; I think that is a huge thing.’’
Judy Robinson at the Tahunanui Community Centre.