The MoneyMates programme that runs throughout New Zealand has now started in Gore.
The programme is run as a collaboration between Gore and Districts Budget Advisory Service and Te Iho Whi Rito Social Services.
The free programme runs for six weeks, and has one intake each term.
Participants in the programme learn about budgeting and budget cooking.
Te Iho Whi Rito Social Services whanau worker Kelly Takurua, who helped organise the programme, said MoneyMates was about the group learning from one another and sharing their experiences and knowledge.
“Quite a bit of the programme is about building trust and companionship within the group, so when the group is over they have people in the community that they connected to and that they can continue to talk with and get ideas from,” Ms Takurua said.
There was also an individual follow up for six weeks after the end of the programme for those who wanted more one-on-one budgeting advice and information.
“What they’ve really enjoyed is the camaraderie in the group, the interesting topics that we’ve covered and of course the cooking,” Ms Takurua said.
Participants in the programme met once a week at the Calvin Community Church and learnt about topics such as Kiwisaver, budgeting hints and savings.
“Although this is our first group, we’ve seen the huge benefit it’s had to participants’ confidence. They didn’t think they could do a lot of things and they’ve proven each session that they can go above and beyond their own expectations,” she said.
Gore Budget Services co-ordinator Jenny Buchanan also helped organise the programme and said while she and Ms Takurua facilitated the programme, the practical skills and cooking was done by participants.
“They’re doing it themselves for themselves so that they can get experience how to do it,” Mrs Buchanan said.
She said they would love to grow the programme and would take it to any group that would have them.
“I’m excited about the course this year and hopefully where it can go and how it can grow and support the community to be more financially literate,” Mrs Buchanan said.
To register for the next intake of the programme next term contact Ms Takurua on (03) 208-0224.