With a significant proportion of Wellington’s former refugees being settled in the Hutt Valley, it makes sense for them to have somewhere local to go for support. “We’d been running an Info Hub in Wellington for one and a half years, and saw the need to provide accessible support to those in Lower Hutt,” says Lucy Anderson, Social Worker at ChangeMakers Refugee Forum.
When ChangeMakers Refugee Forum approached Diocesan Social Justice Enabler the Rev Stephen King, he was able to connect them with the Parish of Naenae-Epuni.
“ChangeMakers has been operating from St David’s in Naenae for six months. It’s an easy way we as a parish can offer support, just by being a venue that’s available for their use,” says Jill Kirkland, who co-ordinates the use of the church hall on behalf of the parish. “Being in the centre of Naenae is a fantastic location for us and is very accessible for the communities,” Lucy says. She says being able to offer this service to former refugees in the Hutt Valley means that those who need support are more able to access it.
The Awha Info Hub operates from 3:30pm – 5:30pm every second Wednesday on the 21st of June, the 5th and 19th of July, and the 2nd of August; and is a safe place for former refugees to go to receive advice, support and information. The Hub is run by ChangeMakers Refugee Forum.