The Gloriavale Leavers’ Support Trust is officially launching in Timaru on November 14 with an insight into the closed world of the West Coast community.
The trust is launching with an evening of information, a Q&A with former Gloriavale members, a chance to support new leavers’ business ventures, and supper.
Trustee Liz Gregory said it was time for the trust to raise its profile.
It relied heavily on the community, social service agencies and other philanthropic givers to help resettle families.
Mrs Gregory said more than 140 people had left Gloriavale in the last few years and more than half had settled in South Canterbury.
“People who leave the 600-strong reclusive, religious community have very few possessions, next to no money and might have up to 12 children,” she said.
“We want to thank the local community for their support, and invite anyone who is keen to know more about the trust’s ongoing work to come along to this evening.”
A similar event will be held in Christchurch on November 30.