Trust grant helps spread aroha in Ngongotaha

A community-building hub which supports young families through to the elderly has been given a boost by the Rotorua Trust.

The Trust has approved a $15,000 grant to support the work of Trinity Centre which runs a food, clothing and support network in Ngongotaha.

Trinity Centre is one of the Community Facing Ministries for the Rotorua District Presbyterian Church (RDPC), and is modelled on the concept of an old village well – a place where people gather to talk, share resources and ideas, and support each other.

Christian Pilaar of RDPC says the service has been deliberately designed to offer more than just a handout.

“There’s an expectation that people take some ownership and contribute. It doesn’t have to be money – many people help out by volunteering.”

More than 40 volunteers and one paid co-ordinator support life-skills training, a children’s programme, a community garden and a drop-in café, as well as subsidised food and clothing services. They also help families and individuals connect with other support services in the wider community.

Mr Pilaar says there was a demonstrable need in the community for affordable food and clothing, but also a place for people living in isolation to share time together.

“A lot of our elderly people have a need for ‘social warmth’ and that’s something  we can help provide.”

The Rotorua Trust grant will go towards the salary of the volunteer co-ordinator, who is in charge of supplies, volunteer support and training, oversight of community members’ needs and ensuring the smooth running of the centre.

Rotorua Trust manager, Tony Gill says the grant fits well with one of the Trust’s key priority areas – strengthening communities.

“It’s clear the volunteer co-ordinator and the volunteer team are meeting a strong need. Although central Rotorua has food and support services provided by other organisations, they often don’t extend to Ngongotaha“

“It’s great to see the level of support this network delivers to the people of Ngongotaha, and the amount of aroha and volunteer support the community gives in return.”

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