Erika Venter | Thursday, October 20, 2011 11:16
The parents and kids show off the new playground at the Stratford Parent Centre. (Front row): Aja Morresey, Chrystal Ammunsden, Marnie Smith and parent Lisa Smith. (Middle): Porsche Morresey, Libby and Bella Keenan, Ainslee Austin and Lexi Hancock and (back) parents Danette Morresey, Sarah Austin and Raeleen Hancock.
The Stratford Parent Centre features in the latest edition of kiwiparent magazine. Though run by 12 ordinary mums and dads who, like other parents, are faced with the pressures of daily life, it is their perseverance to doing things extra- ordinarily that ensured them the publicity.
Not only do they manage every aspect of the community-owned centre to ensure their kids a place to socialise and learn, but they also reach out to the wider community in various ways. The latest being a programme to facilitate better parenting groups after seven of the parents completed a facilitator course run by Parents Centre New Zealand Inc. “Magic Moments and Parenting with a Purpose is about parenting in a positive way, finding a fresh perspective on discipline and listening to your child, and understanding your children/s stages and ages,” says Lisa Smith.
The first sessions held at the centre will only start next year March, but their services can already be booked for the course to be held at local schools and pre-schools.
Another parent, Lily Webb, who is now a New Zealand Transport Agency accredited child restraint technician, will
shortly host open days at the centre where parents from the wider community can get their child car seats checked-out.
“Our aim is to support parents from before birth right through until their child is five years old. Our message to
parents is that they do not need to feel isolated and that it is OK to be scared, but there are solutions, they just need to reach out,” says President Raeleen Hancock.
Lisa Reed and Danette Morresey attended the Parents Centre New Zeland Inc Volunteer Symposium in Auckland
earlier this month. This has seen them return motivated and fresh with fantastic ideas for moving our centre forward and also reinforcing the great work that Parents Centre has achieved.
As a non-profit organisation, the centre relies heavily on funding and various fundraising projects and a dedicated drive by the centre’s managing committee over the last year to secure grants have enabled them to install a heat pump, new signage, various learning resources and a beautiful $25,000-playground, to name but a few.