Performing artists set stage for Ma's Place fundraising concert

The Split Apple Rockers Andrew Palmer, Dave Baker, Craig Starrenburg, Ernie Tarling and John Foes-Lamb are due to ...

The Split Apple Rockers Andrew Palmer, Dave Baker, Craig Starrenburg, Ernie Tarling and John Foes-Lamb are due to perform at a fundraising concert on July 29.

A line up of performing artists is set to stage a variety concert as a fundraiser for burgeoning support group Ma's Place.

Since late February 2016, Richmond-based Ma's Place has been offering a safe space for expectant mothers and young families to find support.

Co-ordinator Carol Marshall said a part-time manager started a few months ago. Funds from the concert would go towards funding that position as well as covering some of the running costs of Ma's Place.

Musicians due to feature at the July 29 concert include The Split Apple Rockers, which featured on the TVNZ programme The Naked Choir. Other acts scheduled to take to the stage are guitarist Shane Cammell, singer-songwriter Bryce Wastney, Mad Beat dancers "and many more".

Marshall said the mid-winter show at Hope Community Church was due to kick off at 7pm.

"It looks set to be a great evening," she said.

Marshall, a midwife by profession, started Ma's Place after spotting a gap for mothers who found themselves raising a family without friends and family nearby – a gap that might have traditionally been filled by their own mums. As well as providing a practical service including meals for new parents, antenatal, breastfeeding and parenting groups, weekly workshops, baby gear and a creche, Ma's Place could also put families in touch with other services in the region.

Housing had become a key issue for Ma's Place with many families living in motels, camp grounds or in crowded homes, Marshall said.

To help meet the need, Marshall had been providing emergency accommodation at her home. The team at Ma's Place had also received the support of Richmond early childhood centre owners Anthony and Stacey Holder, who allowed a property they were planning to sell to be used as a flat for single parents.

Another landlord had approached Ma's Place with an offer to rent a vacant property to a single-parent family and Marshall hoped more would follow.

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"We're always looking for more options to get families into housing," Marshall said, suggesting an investor could buy an accommodation facility that could be made family friendly.

"Budget options aren't [usually] geared towards families," she said.

Tickets to the concert on July 29 could be bought at the door. They could also be bought online via the itson.co.nz website by following the "ticket" link under "Event Files" and making a payment via internet banking. Tickets cost $10 each or $20 per family.

 - Stuff

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