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Busy nights ahead . . . Arowhenua Whanau Services staff members (from left) mental health registered nurse Katie Morrison, kaiwhakahaere-manager Maria Parish and clinical lead and Whanau Ora nurse Mel Hohaia are prepared for the service's extended opening hours. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

Arowhenua Whanau Services has launched its late-night Wednesdays.

The Temuka-based health service has started an evening clinic, extending its opening hours to 7pm.

Kaiwhakahaere-manager Maria Parish said the main reason for the later opening hours was so people who could not access the services during working hours could still be seen by staff.

The first late night was held yesterday.

Services provided by Arowhenua include health assessments, sexual health support, diabetes and heart checks, blood tests, cervical smears and mental health support.

Arowhenua Whanau Services would also host a series of wananga (seminars) on Wednesday evenings, Ms Parish said.

The service would also be running a series of events around South Canterbury in the coming months.

The first would be held in Temuka on March 20.

Ms Parish said the event, at Temuka’s town square, would run from 10am to 2pm and would include heart health checks, talks and stalls about winter health along with sessions about mindfulness and relaxation techniques. There would also be flax weaving, stone carving and stalls from other local groups.

Other events will be held at Twizel’s Community Care Centre on April 3, Waimate’s Community Events Centre on May 1 and Community House in Timaru on June 19.

The service had also been contracted to provide cardiovascular disease risk assessments for patients.

While the contract was aimed at Maori residents aged 33-44, the service had made the assessments available for everyone, Ms Parish said.

For more on Arowhenua Whanau Services’ late-night sessions, visit www.aws.health.nz or phone (03) 615-5180.