The impact the Takutai Charitable Trust is having on Beachlands-Maraetai shows the value of partnering with the group, Franklin Local Board Wairoa subdivision member Angela Fulljames says.
“The trust was recently granted strategic partnership funding and a lease over the Log Cabin in Beachlands and has gone from strength to strength.
“Some of the work volunteers are doing, and the range of it, can go un-noticed, but many lives are being touched, not just in our own community, but well beyond it,” she says.
Wairoa subdivision board member Malcolm Bell says it can appear that the area is wealthy with little need for the family support services operating elsewhere.
“But if you look closer you realise there are people struggling.”
Trust chair Garth Dawson agrees. “Like any community, there are vulnerable and disengaged people in our area, so our work is about helping the community to help itself.”
He says taking over the Log Cabin, which volunteers have given a good tidy-up, has provided a base for classes and groups to meet, and the numbers using it have grown.
“It gives people a reason to come together, which creates a sense of belonging, of community. We have art classes, felting, home-schooling and many other groups.
“But it’s also about the community telling us what they want. When we added a Lego group we thought we might get 20 people along, but we got so many we had to have two classes because not everyone could fit in.”
To date, the most public faces of the trust are the work of its foodbank, and Coastal Treasures, the store that also acts as a donation point for the trust, collecting and distributing vast amounts of pre-loved items to those in need.
“I can’t thank everyone involved enough because we are talking about large volumes of food, clothing, blankets and household goods that we are able to use to make the lives of vulnerable people that bit better,” Dawson says.
So much is donated, some on-sold to fund the trust and support the community, that regular deliveries are also made to a Manurewa group working with vulnerable people.
“It can be difficult for people to admit they need help, there’s a stigma attached. But we never question, we never charge, and we never judge.”
Fulljames says she was always keen to see the levels of support there are in in other Franklin areas available in the Wairoa subdivision.
“The board’s funding has given the trust some certainty and helped get its youth initiative on its feet. But we have only provided money, it’s those involved who have supplied the vision, dedication and passion that’s made Takutai so vital to the community so quickly.”
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