Over 20 years of support for Waiuku families

Above: new WFSN manager Jessica Timmins withvolunteers Colleen May and Gay Bayfield.

Above: new WFSN manager Jessica Timmins withvolunteers Colleen May and Gay Bayfield.

What began as an idea by two local women in the late 1980’s has blossomed into a multi-function family support service which offers a lot more than many people realise.
The Waiuku Family Support Network Community Trust, based in Queen Street, began as the brainchild of Sue Ushaw and Jeanette Cooper in 1987, when they saw a need for a service which could put local people in touch with support and aid agencies, as well as providing practical advice on dealing with government departments.
Today, the centre provides not only those services, but has two professional counsellors, a registered community support worker, and a dedicated team of volunteers.
New manager Jessica Timmins, says the centre has a very good reputation, and being the only service of its kind in Waiuku and the Awhitu Peninsula, is very much in demand. Jessica, who was previously with Pathways in Manukau, (a community-based health and wellness service), says there is a lot more to the centre than people’s perception and it offers services that encompass the wider community.
“Our focus is on working together as a team to help families and individuals in the region.
“For example, we have a registered, professional community support worker who works with families to help them deal with family violence or anger issues, and we offer confidential counselling for many different situations.
“Our role is to offer support to people in our community, and if we can’t offer a service that they need, we can advise them of what services are available.
Many of our services are free to the community.
“Our volunteers are highly trained, and confidentiality is absolutely important. If people are feeling they have problems that they need help with, whether it be financial, emotional or familyrelated, I would urge them to give us a call and see how we can help.”
The Waiuku Family Support Network Community Trust is keen to attract more volunteers, and among the longest-serving are Gay Bayfield and Colleen May, Gay having been part of the agency since 1999.
Gay and Colleen say it’s rewarding being able to help their community.
Volunteering can be arranged to fit in with your lifestyle and the hours you are available. The Centre is always looking for donations of good quality baby clothes, school uniforms, manchester and towels, while food donations are usually referred to Foodbank.
After more than 20 years of serving Waiuku and the Peninsula, the Waiuku Family Support Network Community Trust is only getting stronger, moving with the times and remaining relevant and necessary to this community.

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