SSFI Whangarei

*MEDIA RELEASE*

Launch of School Start First Impressions
Whangarei

It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of School Start First Impressions Whangarei, a collaboration between Presbyrtarian Support Northern and School Start First Impressions to commence November 24th, 2021.

In April 2015 Jane and Graeme Thomas with the support of fellow trustee Rae Blackwood recognised a need in the Franklin community to support tamariki who were starting their school journey and living in a home where extreme financial poverty was experienced.  Their call to action was to start this child centric project to reduce the financial barrier faced by many tamariki starting school. Providing them with a celebration 5 KitBox and all the necessary items for a child to start school including a uniform, stationery and contribution to a school donation with lots of other goodies.

2021 has seen over 2170 5 KitBoxes gifted in South Auckland and Waikato.

Partnering with Presbyrtarian Support Northern  was a natural match for School Start First Impressions as our shared values and care for tamariki transitioning to school with wrap-around support was our clear connection.

Family Works, a Presbyrtarian Support Northern service, approached School Start First Impressions to become a referral organization in July 2021.  The trustees decided to support a pilot project of 100 School Starter Packs in 2022  supporting tamariki who have been attending a Northern Kindergarten early childhood centre. The referrals will be made by the Family Works social workers and Head Teachers.

The initial designated areas of support for this School Start First Impressions Whangarei project include  Otangarei, Kamo,Tikupunga, Horahora with a view to eventually expand.

Any new community partnerships and volunteers are always welcome!