Community centre proves to be a big hit

COMMUNITY EFFORT: Waimate District Resource Trust community development facilitator Karen Beker.
COMMUNITY EFFORT: Waimate District Resource Trust community development facilitator Karen Beker.

Waimate's new community centre is off to a rip-roaring start, with numerous organisations signed up for a health and wellbeing expo.

More than a dozen groups will converge on the Salvation Army building next Wednesday between 10am and 3pm for a day of networking and information.

It follows a decision by the Salvation Army and the Waimate District Resource Trust to join forces to provide a "central hub within the township".

The centre is now managed through the Waimate Resource Centre and open with a staff member between Monday and Friday, and available for the use of the wider community.

At next week's event there will be free blood pressure and blood sugar testing, also information and displays on asthma, alzheimer's, arthritis, Blind Foundation, personal alarms, diabetes, Parkinson's, Heart Foundation, Senior Citizens, Fall Prevention and the Stroke Foundation.

Lister Home, St John and physiotherapists will also be on hand to chat and there will be mobility scooter demonstrations.

Community development facilitator Karen Beker said the event had been a combined effort by Waimate and Timaru groups and organisations.

Many Waimate organisations had responded well, she said.

"We've had a whole lot of Waimate sponsors on board. We see it as a great networking opportunity for providers to get together and for the Waimate people to see who is servicing our community."

Stroke Foundation field officer Christine Holling was behind the expo.

"We have run several expos in Geraldine, Twizel and Timaru, but not Waimate.

"I just decided that it was time we took all the agencies that work in community health to promote and hold an expo in Waimate.

"It does take a bit of organising, we are all busy people and it's about getting people together." The new community centre was launched in October and will have an official opening on March 6.

Ms Beker said people were visiting the centre and she was receiving phone calls and inquiries.

"It's just taking time and catching on."

The Timaru Herald