Residents called on for Arohanui

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A Timaru woman is on a quest to create a centre of ‘‘big love’’.
Janelle Richardson would like to transform the former St Joseph’s Hall in Douglas St into a community centre, working with agencies to provide services to a variety of people, and bring the community together. The name of the proposed centre is Arohanui — meaning ‘‘big love’’.
However, to get there Miss Richardson is calling on residents to help fund the purchase of the building, which is on the market for $450,000.
‘‘I moved in across the road[from the hall] about six months ago and every day I have wanted to turn the beautiful building into a community centre,’’ she said.
‘‘I rang the real estate to look through it and it’s perfect. I need to raise money to buy the building in forms of donations.’’
At the moment, Miss Richardson is putting together a business plan for the proposed centre.
‘‘Then I am going to venture out in hope the community can picture the vision and potential this building could have as a community centre.
‘‘The centre will be available to babies through to the elderly.’’
She saw the centre as a way for groups and organisations that need a space to come together.
She also plans to work with other community services, including Fale Pasifika and Woman’s Refuge.
‘‘It will have a social worker, counselling services, health services, budgeting help, cooking classes and art classes.
‘‘There will also be learning to grow vegetables classes and I’ll take my dance classes.’’
Meditation, a safe haven for youth with supervision, yoga or fitness classes were also part of the plan.
‘‘It would all be at a reasonable price — gold coin donations for many things.
‘‘Young parents can come to seek help, help to fill in government forms for those who struggle, lunches for those families struggling — the list is unlimited.’’
Miss Richardson is asking members of the community to fund the purchase of the building.
‘‘This will help to bring the community together, to help families, to help youth, to help those wanting to create classes with their talents.
‘‘Poverty is high in New Zealand — our tamariki are slipping through the cracks of child abuse. We as a community need to come together and help one another without judgement or discrimination. This is an opportunity to buy a building and move a mountain to benefit so many.’’ – For more information, contact Janelle Richardson on 027 480-5003.