New times for senior citizens

MAKING CONNECTIONS: New Ashburton Senior Citizens manager Jacqui Paterson.
- Advertisement -

Jacqui Paterson recently took over as Ashburton Senior Citizens manager.

The 61-year-old Ashburtonian was the archdeacon of the Anglican church in Mid Canterbury for nine years. Following a stint away serving in other parishes she returned and was the MP support for Jo Luxton while she was electorate MP.

She has stepped into her new role following the retirement of long serving manager Maxine Hooper.

Paterson said she had been drawn to the role, particularly its advocacy component.

‘‘One of the things I really enjoyed working for Parliamentary services was the advocacy as I felt I added value to the role I was undertaking.’’

She has worked as a teacher and school principal, mainly at rural schools before becoming an Anglican priest.

She said her education and ministry roles had not been just jobs. Rather each had been a vocation, a calling.

‘‘My new role allows a better quality of life and enables me to do other things especially connecting with family which is important to me.’’

‘‘The numbers of seniors in our community will continue to grow and the services Senior Citizens provide will be there to support them.’’

The organisation has gone through a transitional period, not only with a new manager, but coming under the umbrella of Safer Mid Canterbury and moving into Safer’s building.

As Paterson settles into the role there are two key areas she wants to focus on.

‘‘Building relationships and establishing good channels of communication are so important to this role. My role is about working out how best to communicate with our members and service providers, meeting people where they are at and helping them flourish in an ever changing world.’’

The organisation was continuing with its tasks of home visits, assistance with groceries, advocacy, and social programmes. At the same time, Paterson is thinking about other services the organisation could provide in future.

‘‘We are looking for people who would like to join us volunteering to support our valuable work in the community with things like visiting, packaging food boxes, helping with our activities and providing governance on our committee,’’ Paterson said.

The Senior Citizen office is at Safer Mid Canterbury, 55 Moore St, Ashburton.