Good advice for 25 years
Janice Orange has dedicated 25 years of her life to helping Manurewa's residents.
The 72-year-old has spent more than 4500 hours assisting more than 10,000 people since she joined the Manurewa Citizens Advice Bureau in 1987.
It is the satisfaction she gets from helping people that has given her the drive to spend so long as an unpaid volunteer, she says.
"That is what it is all about - helping people with their rights and when they don't know where to go we can point them in the right direction."
The problems have remained the same over the years, Mrs Orange says.
Housing and employment are the big ones, followed by marital and consumer issues.
"But they are also becoming much more complex problems."
Law changes and the intricate makeup of second-time round families mean issues have become more involved, she says.
Technology has also had an impact on the bureau's resources - when she started everything was done with a paper filing system.
"We had a little file, like a shoebox file with two drawers - all it had was a card system which more or less just had the names and addresses of agencies and contacts."
Four computer systems later, Mrs Orange is now computer savvy and has a multitude of resources at her fingertips. And the database is continually growing.
"It is all ongoing and it is all ongoing learning on our part. You do lots of research."
Pamphlets full of information also line the walls of the bureau's Hill Rd premises.
Mrs Orange advises anyone who needs information about an issue to make the bureau their first port of call.
"Start with us and then we find their options and give them as many options as we can."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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