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CARE Waitākere continues caring for local communities

Started by a passionate group of Te Atatū Peninsula locals, CARE Waitākere Trust first opened its doors in 1999. Since those early days, the charitable trust has helped many West Aucklanders with professional counselling and budgeting services.

‘We provide wraparound services to residents in Te Atatū Peninsula and the wider community,’ explains Maxine Finlay, Senior Service Coordinator.

Among the many services on offer are help with budgeting and money planning, family support and counselling. CARE Waitākere Trust has a reputation for providing outstanding counselling services to children, young people, and adults.

Furthermore, the trust operates a community foodbank and oversees a Christmas hamper project. Last year alone, CARE Waitākere distributed over 500 food parcels to families in need. And the Christmas hamper appeal delivered 136 packages of festive cheer.

Covid-19's arrival has seen demand for CARE's services increase dramatically. Many families have been hit hard by the economic impact of the pandemic. While extended lockdowns have only added to the pressures faced.

‘The past two years have been tough,’ says Maxine, ‘and demand for our services has increased alongside the stresses on people.’

One local to benefit from CARE’s help is Rimu. With a large family of eight children, Rimu and his wife struggled financially. And they were in desperate need of replacing their inadequate five-seater car. CARE Waitākere’s financial mentor successfully negotiated with the family's KiwiSaver provider to release funds on hardship grounds. Rimu and his wife were able to buy a van to comfortably accommodate their family. And they also had some money left over to reduce their debts, putting them in a much better financial position.

CARE Waitākere’s services are funded mainly by government agencies, including Oranga Tamariki and the Ministry of Social Development. However, administration costs are generally not covered.

However, thanks to $15,000 from the Your West Support Fund, CARE Waitākere can look forward with greater certainty and confidence.

According to Maxine, the funding will go towards salary costs, allowing the trust to continue delivering vital services.

‘We really appreciate the help of the Your West Support Fund,’ says Maxine. ‘It’s boosted our ability to keep on meeting the huge need in the community,' she adds.

Over the past year, more than 2000 clients have come through CARE Waitākere’s door. And so, it’s clear the trust’s services are needed more than ever.

Check out CARE Waitākere’s website to find out more, make a donation or book an appointment.