In the afternoon we split up into different groups and, accompanied by local MPs Carmel Sepuloni and Lynne Pillay, got stuck in all around the Waitakere electorate. People helped out at the Walsh Trust, the Ranui Action Project, Henderson Riding for the Disabled and at the Glen Eden shops.
The Walsh Trust offers a range of mental health support services to around 300 people who experience mental ill health. Ella and Eric spent the afternoon pulling boxes of old files out of their attic space. Files dating back to the early 90s were well overdue to be destroyed. Hot, cramped work space and heavy lifting might have been the short straw were it not for the rain that other groups had to work in. The Walsh Trust has recently had funding cut to an excellent work skills training programme. The people working there expressed how it was really sad to see National take it’s axe to an organisation dedicated to front line mental health support, something New Zealanders desperately need more of.
The Glen Eden Mall is small retail town centre that forms the heart of much of the surrounding Waitakere electorate, containing not only retail premises, but the Library, Local Board offices and Post office.Carmel Sepuloni, John, Soraiya, Tim and Shayne spent the day cleaning up the Mall’s shop faces with the Waitakere Local Board and Glen Eden Business Association. It was wet and often tiring work. Labour values have always been community orientated and it was great to put this into practice helping local small business owners (some of which came out to help us). Many Glen Eden residents stopped and spoke to us and expressed happiness at the work we were doing and concern about the direction the country is taking under the National Government
Shona and Angus went to the Henderson riding for the disabled to do some fencing with Norma, Fou, Pem and Joseph. They mixed and poured cement, said hello to some horses, and leveled posts under pouring rain. Eventually Eric arrived at the end of the job ready to congratulate himself for a job well done. It was. Thanks…
Norma and the team were passionate about the therapeutic benefits of riding for people with disabilities. We hope that they’ll eventually get a bit more room and funding to do all the things they’d like to do. It was great to help out to get the job done, because many hands make light work (and decent fences).
Meanwhile Megan and Luke spent the afternoon spring-cleaning at Ranui Action Programme. They are a great little organisation that provides advice to families and helps build stronger communities in the friendly Ranui suburb. With all their time spent serving the area the gardens had become a little overgrown so we soon sorted things out and left Emma and her team to get on with their amazing work.
We finished the day with a get together with local Labour members at Carmel’s house – fish and chips all around!
Tommorow Young Labour is heading to the Glen Innes Family Centre in Maungakiekie…