This might be a familiar story for many mums, but Nadine went one step further. A GP at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga suggested contacting the Social Workers at the Family Start programme who worked directly with the families she was hoping to reach and it was a perfect match.
Donating her own children’s clothes soon expanded to sourcing blankets, towels, and furniture from the wider community. Space constraints meant the Family Start team would sometimes have to refuse an item one week only to need it the next. Nadine also became aware that each Social Worker was managing donations for their clients as best they could on top of their regular workload. There had to be a better way!
"It seemed wrong for trained Social Workers to be juggling donations as well as their regular mahi so I started looking into what systems other services had in place. To my surprise, the problems were almost universal:
Many organisations did not have enough space to hold donations
Donations included many items they didn’t need creating storage or waste issues
One organisation might be storing an item for possible use in the future that another organisation needed immediately
Skilled workers, who already had heavy caseloads, were spending their valuable time managing donations, driving clients to op shops, and asking family and friends for support, as well as dipping into their own pockets. There was a risk of this contributing to burnout"
The solution was a centralised service that would supply what was needed when it was needed. Working on referrals from community workers would target those most in need in our community and free up the referees to get on with their skilled mahi.
Re-Source, as we know it today, was started from Nadine’s home. Within a year Hastings District Council had supplied the depot in Flaxmere and they have operated from this location ever since.
“HDC have continued to provide invaluable support and guidance over the years. We could not have come so far, so fast, without them."
Four years later, through our partner network, Re-Source provides a comprehensive service that connects donated items with community needs to support wellbeing and reduce waste.