Latest Family Centre Stories Meeting the Community’s Needs Together Our Family Service Centre teams recently joined together and invited stakeholders from the community to come for morning tea at our lovely Takanini Centre. “The purpose of the morning tea was to thank all our supporters and to build on relationships so these are strong going into a new year,” said Kyla Scott, from Takanini Family Service Centre. “It is us giving back. Guests included the schools we work with, our professional supervisors, donors, agencies we work closely with such as Friendship House, Plunket, Citizen’s Advice Bureaus and other community groups. It is also so Deepika can meet all these amazing people and vice versa.” With rain threatening the team weren’t sure what the turn out would be, but the room was packed with standing room only. New Family Service Centres Manager, Deepika Sarmah, introduced herself and outlined the services offered at our centres, emphasising how important it is for us to work together with other community groups. “None of us can meet the community’s need on our own,” she said. The response from those who attended was very positive. “It’s been great to come and see where you are – and be reminded about what you are doing. We will be keen to work together in the future, and let our adult students know of all the services that are here to support them,” said Josh Levi from Skills Update, an employment training programme in Papakura. Plunket nurses hold community clinics on-site at the Family Service Centres, on a Tuesday and Thursday, and their team is very happy with the arrangement which greatly benefits the families they work with. “We have a lot of new immigrants in this area. Many of our young mothers are isolated and shy, with not much English. They prefer us to do home visits but we encourage them to come to the clinics here. When they come they get to see all the ways the centre can support them, with things like the playgroup and Triple P (parenting programme). It helps them start to make connections and get more support,” said Plunket Health Worker, Lucy Liu. After guests departed, there was a feeling that this had been a very worthwhile morning. “We haven’t tried doing anything like this before; it was good to bring everyone together at the start of the new year and remind them we are here,” Sarmah said.