Family Works has started offering services in the small Rangitīkei town of Marton after identifying a need for support in the area.
Initially it will be working with people who have experienced family violence but hopes in time to be able to offer additional services.
Family Works Whanganui team manager Raewyn Anderson says there is a real need for support in small, rural towns such as Marton.
“There is a huge need for support in Marton. A lot of the rural communities don’t get a lot of support, because they are quite isolated.
“We were able to go out there and introduce ourselves to the police, to the schools, to other community agencies, and let them know what we do. The resounding feedback was ‘we need it, we need the support, we need the help.’”
Family Works Whanganui started the process of establishing services in Marton last year, but Covid-19 delayed getting into the building and getting set up.
Family Works now runs a domestic violence support group in the town, funded by the Ministry of Justice, and is working on starting a domestic violence group for children as well.
The Tindall Foundation has granted Family Works $15,000 to support the focus on providing services to the rural community. Meanwhile, the Rangitīkei District Council has also been supportive and has given Family Works free rent and power at a space in the community garden building.
Raewyn says it is a beautiful space and the building is in a quiet and private area, which is good for those seeking Family Works’ help.
“It is a lot easier for them to access because they don’t have to find ways to get out of their own community to get the help. We are in their community, we’re in their space.”
Family Works is grateful for the generous support from the local community which allows it to run groups and develop services in Marton.
In addition to the family violence group, Family Works also helps children at Marton Junction School, as part of Kōrero Manaaki, counselling in schools programme.