Many of you will know by now that I volunteer at the Nelson Women’s Centre. We’re a drop-in safe space which offers social worker support, counselling services, and access to information and community services. Like most community organisations, we’re struggling to make ends meet. So I’m asking for help.
My role at the Centre is two-fold. I started out providing communications advice and support – writing, media, that sort of the thing. But the more time I spent at the Centre, the more I wanted to do. So I’m now also on the Governance Collective.
The Centre is a unique place. It’s set up in a house we own. It’s a welcoming, inclusive, intersectional safe space. It’s a drop-in centre where women can access social workers and counsellors, get information, connect with other women and other community organisations, attend workshops, or just hang out. A lot of people get us confused with Women’s Refuge, and we do provide support for domestic violence situations, but you don’t have to be in any sort of crisis to come to us. In fact, we want to work preventatively.
I love being part of the Collective. It’s seriously awesome working with a bunch of women who are committed to shared feminist goals. There’s only one thing that upsets me: the lack of resources. I mean this in terms of my own energy and health – I want to do so much more than I’m capable of – and in terms of finances.
It’s a really tough time to be a community organisation. We’re all relying on dwindling government funds, trusts, philanthropy, and the goodwill of the public. There’s only so much you can ask for.
But I’m asking now. We’ve expanded the Centre’s floor space by putting in a cabin in our back yard. The cabin – which we call the Counselling Cottage, though it will be used for a number of services – was built for us by volunteers from the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. Most of the materials have been donated.
The Cottage was necessary because there’s increasing demand for counselling services. We have one room inside the house which is shared by five volunteer counsellors, and two social workers.
We need help to finish the Cottage, and to upgrade the existing room. We’re alllmost there, but there’s been hurdles with consents and a few other items that pushed our budget out.
We’ve got a Givealittle running right now: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/nelsonwomenscentreextension
If you can help *at all*, it will be very, very much appreciated by us and the women who use our services.
All I can hope is that we get somewhere close to the goal.
Thank you for your support.