Trinity Centre offers hand-up

TrinityA former church complex being adapted into a community centre in Ngongotaha has received a boost through a $15,000 grant from the Rotorua Trust.

The Trinity Community Centre on the corner of Hall and School Roads comes under the umbrella of the Rotorua District Presbyterian Church’s Community Facing Ministries (CFM) programme.

The centre started operating in February 2015 with the purpose of supporting and empowering low-income families and the elderly in the Ngongotaha, Mamaku and Kaharoa communities.

Christian Pilaar, the funding coordinator for CFM, said the grant was important because it enabled five heat pumps to be purchased, making the previously chilly centre much more welcoming. “It was particularly pleasing to be funded by a local funder that could maintain an on-going interest in this project,” he said.

The centre offers a number of services including the following:

The Wardrobe – a supply of low-cost second-hand children’s clothing. Most clothing is sold for 50 cents an item or exchanged for other children’s clothing or work around the centre.

The Pantry – offering lowcost staple foods to families on the Community Services Card. Currently, 104 families belong to The Pantry, and can purchase tokens or exchange work for tokens to obtain basic food items at around half the normal price. Free fruit and vegetables are also supplied. The Pantry is open on Thursday mornings, and typically benefits about 22 families each week. Emergency meal packs are also available, with about a dozen being handed out each month.

While The Pantry is open, free morning tea and/or soup are offered – providing a social and now warm environment to visit.

The Dining Table provides lunch for up to 20 people on a monthly basis.

The ethos of Trinity Centre is to offer people a hand-up, rather than a hand-out, in that they make a contribution of some sort towards the benefits they receive.

The heat pumps became operational in September, and Trinity is now better able to utilise the whole complex at all times of the year – especially winter.

Trinity coordinator Chrissi Clement says: “Previously, things became very cramped, limiting the extent of the activities we could provide.

“It goes without saying that all those involved with the centre are very grateful to Rotorua Trust for its generous support,” said Christian.

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