Age Concern: 25 years on and still going strong
In September the organisation celebrated 25 years since becoming an incorporated society. It was a big day with a lunch prepared by friends of Age Concern, including Year 11 Flaxmere College students. Donations of food came from, among others, Nourished for Nil and Flaxmere New World.
And of course, given it was a birthday, there was an amazing cake, cut by one of the original members there on the day, Brian Mitcherson, ably assisted by member Fae Andersen.
Manager Patsy Kerei says the atmosphere was fantastic. She had just returned as manager, after a break of 11 years. She was at the helm for 11 years before that.
The biggest change she had seen over that more than two decades was the feeling of ownership members had developed for the organisation.
“Rather than Age Concern putting on events and functions and members turning up for them and then going home, the place has turned into a real hub with people meeting up here for a coffee and a chat anytime we are open.
“Of course we still put on classes and gatherings, but nowadays you’re just as likely to find our members helping to run them, cooking lunch or doing a bit of maintenance around the place.”
One member provides muffins, pancakes and cream every Wednesday for morning tea and another regularly cooks up lunch. “They really are hands on. Our members really like doing things for themselves; they don’t want to just sit around. It’s a real club of our people.”
Age Concern Flaxmere belongs to the national Age Concern organisation. The vision of all Age Concern’s across the country is to promote the rights, wellbeing and quality of life of older people, koroua and kuia.