Connecting people through kai

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Members of the Safe Families Network at the Community Kai event earlier this year.
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Connecting people and celebrating the arrival of spring are the reasons behind Safe Families Network hosting its second Community Kai event.

It will be on September 1.

Following the success of the inaugural Community Kai event in March, network co-ordinator Anna Arrowsmith said now was the right time to hold another one.

‘‘We wanted to again offer this to the community, it’s an opportunity to come together, talk, connect and enjoy some kai,’’ Arrowsmith said.

Anzco are again supporting the event by providing the meat for barbecue, with sausages, hamburgers and fruit on offer.

The event offers the opportunity for the community to come along grab something to eat, sit around the chessboard, and chat to the members of Safe Families Network.

Members can provide information about mental well being, family harm and support for those needing it.

For the successful March event, about 200 people attended, with about 150 sausages and 80 hamburgers served.

Arrowsmith said the network was aware many people including middle income earners were doing it tough.

‘‘With the stress of the cost of living, food prices going up, financial pressures and financial abuse. We decided to put on a free barbecue for anyone in the community who would like to come along,’’ she said.

Safe Families Network is made up of 40 members from Mid Canterbury organisations who meet regularly to discuss family harm matters in the community. Organisations include Mid Canterbury schools, St John, Birthright Canterbury, Anglican Advocacy, Presbyterian Support, Oranga Tamariki , Te Whatu Ora, Aviva Families and Fale Pasifika.

The network’s focus is on creating safe families and reducing harm.

‘‘We look at the risks in our community, what are the issues, what support we can offer, what we can provide to the community in this area and where are the gaps are,’’ Arrowsmith said.

Recent women’s wellness talks presented by the network were popular.

‘‘Some people left the workshops deciding to make big changes in their lives, it was life changing for some women.’’

The network also brings a variety of White Ribbon events to Mid Canterbury each year including a popular quiz held in November.

  • Community Kai – September 1, on the East St chessboard, Ashburton from 12 – 1pm. It’s on wet or fine, go along to enjoy a free barbecue and connect with others in the community.