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Napier Family Centre,
In the past 12 months Napier Family Centre has seen nearly 1700 clients through their social services showing a 40% growth in demand since 2008. The biggest impact can be seen on the Budget Service where in the past year they took on 592 new clients. This demand is nearly double that from two years ago.
“We had planned for another tough year for our families but even we had no idea of the level of hardship being felt by our community. The ‘green shoots’ talk about the economy recovering has little to do with what’s happening at grass roots. We asked for 360 food parcels for our clients from Foodbank. This is 44% increase on last year’s requests and over 3.5 times more requests than 2008. More alarming, is that we know there were 958 children living in households facing financial hardship. When clients cannot make ends meet it is often the grocery money that gets diverted to pay bills which can create a bundle of other issues like health, behaviour, and the children’s schooling,” said Roydon Day, Napier Family Centre CEO.
“We were able to sustain our level of income from the previous year which is a good result in a recession but our decision to keep saying ‘yes’ and meet such a huge demand required an extraordinary effort from our people. Many of our staff members, in the face of an increasing workload, gave generously to the organisation and the community by accepting 3 months reduced paid hours to enable us to take on more clients over that time.”
Roydon is optimistic that the economic recovery, although a fragile recovery, should see more hope for families in the Hawke’s Bay over the coming year. In the meantime, Napier Family Centre is gearing up for another year supporting those that need a helping hand.
More of this year’s results will be announced at Napier Family Centre’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday 23 September being held St Mary’s Church starting at 5pm. Guest Speaker is Dr Kevin Snee, CEO Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. All welcome. RSVP to Kath Curran on 06 843 7280.
The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari
www.community.net.nz as a community service.
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