Earlier this week we celebrated the opening of our new space in Pember house in Porirua. We were grateful for the community support which was reflected in the guest list! This included a number of community leaders – Mayor Mike Tana, the Kapiti Mana Police area commander, Tracey Thompson and the police district iwi co-ordinator, Te Roera Puna. We were also thrilled to have Julie Nevett a business partner who sponsored the project attend along with a number of College representatives and our staff members.
Steve O’Connor and Mayor Mike Tana.
Steve O’Connor, our director opened the event. We were honoured to have Mayor Mike Tana speak, he shared his excitement of having the hub up and running in Porirua as well as reflecting on his past work with youth. There was an excited buzz in the air, which is an indication of the many great things to come from this new, central space in the heart of the Porirua CBD.
Our Challenge space is located on the 4th floor of Pember House, just around the corner from the Porirua City Council. The office had been freshly painted and re-furnished with brightly coloured rugs and couches, photos and posters on the walls and pot plants nestled in the corners. The office is bright and cozy, and it is clear that it will be an important hub for the amazing work that we do, as well as a welcoming place for Porirua youth, their whanau and our community partners.
The office in Porirua will be used as a base for the work that we deliver in the community. We have had involvement with young people in Porirua for over 25 years.
The new hub is open!
We have provided youth justice services, youth and social workers for all the Porirua Colleges, holiday programmes, provided community service opportunities and lots more! Being based here physically will make us more visible and accessible for the community and those accessing our many programmes.
Our staff, young people and volunteers at last have a place to call home and we look forward to strengthening our relationships in the Porirua community.
Tina May Wilkins is the senior social worker running the hub – we asked her about the vision of the hub and here is what she said…
“Tena Koutou Katoa, Tālofa, Fakaalofa atu, Malo e lelei, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Kia Orana
Having a base in Porirua means so much more than just having a presence, it’s about relationships and the ability to strengthen them. Challenge 2000 has social and youth workers based at 5 of the 7 secondary schools in Porirua who provide support to students and their families in need. Our services have also reached the wider community, the youth courts and partnered primary schools.
Having a hub means that the students and families have a place to identify with when working with the social and youth workers other than their respective schools.
I see the hub as a safe gathering place where staff, young people, families and our community networks. Our goal was to create an environment both comfortable and inviting for everyone who will utilise it and I believe we have achieved that.
Already we have had parents, students and political guests meet with staff at the hub. It’s my goal to ensure the space is used to the best of it’s ability and to continue to provide services to the Porirua Community.
Nau Mai Haere Mai ki te tari o Te Wero Rua Mano ki Porirua!”