About 40 people came along this morning for the opening of this volunteer social service premises in a Mahara Place building, and to hear former Mayor and Waikanae resident Iride McCloy explain why it is needed and what it will do.

Attendees as well as Mayor Guru (right) included Crs Mike Cardiff and David Scott as well as Tonchi Begovich and James Westbury of the Waikanae Community Board.

The approximately 40 m² space is on the ground floor in the back of the retail frontage, and accessible also from the service lane from Ngaio Road.  In the square, the door is adjacent to the library and next to Dri Sleeper.

With its high population of seniors, Waikanae has a particular need for services like the ones to be offered: “We are here to help people having health, housing, financial or relationship concerns.”  The latter include mental health problems from isolation, particularly after a spouse dies.

“We will work with them to provide hands-on help that is free, impartial, independent and confidential.”

A Citizens Advice Bureau if you will, but closer to home for Waikanae people than the one in Coastlands and more attuned to Waikanae’s demographics.

Volunteers will be trained by Volunteer Kapiti.

We’ll keep in touch with Iride to report further.