“IF you step up, we'll step up,” Turanga Health chief executive Reweti Ropiha told mental health and addiction services whanau, then he put his money where his mouth is.
The result is a co-op whereby those whanau who want to each put in 50 cents a week. At the end of six weeks, the cash is tallied, Turanga Health matches the sum, and every contributor gets something special.
What's more, they get input into what that “something special” might be.
“The idea is for them to get something useful, something they value, that they might not otherwise be able to afford,” says mental health and addiction services kaumatua John Pomana.
“Like one time we got some meat and, together with vegetables from our community garden, they got lots of kai for three bucks. Another time they all got a nice new continental blanket to take home, because that's what they told us they needed.”
The co-op idea is not entirely new at Turanga Health (the Vanessa Lowndes Centre whanau have already used it to chip in for things like new sports shoes), but it is for those using mental health services.
“We have lots of ways to show we care but this is another thing again,” says John. “This way, whanau are contributing – even a little bit – and that helps bring a real sense of pride and ownership.”
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