New position to help bring community closer together

Creating connections . . . Gore resident Sharlene Taylor-Giles hopes to bring the community closer as she enters her new role of the neighbourhood support co-ordinator at Connected Eastern Southland. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

A new neighbourhood support role will result in connections being made in Eastern Southland.

Gore resident Sharlene Taylor-Giles has taken on a neighbourhood support role at Connected Eastern Southland and is keen to create a connected community in the area.

She has been in the job for about a month.

Ms Taylor-Giles says she is ‘‘looking forward’’ to embedding herself into different areas and bringing people together.

‘‘I used to live in the North Island and our community had neighbourhood support,’’ she said.

‘‘It was fantastic. Everyone made the connection by meeting each other and exchanged forms of communication. So if the power went out or if someone needed a rubbish bin taken out, someone was always there to help.’’

She was working for the Gore District Council as an employability co-ordinator and when she saw the new role appear, she knew it was what she wanted to do.

‘‘It’s as simple as knowing a neighbour and having contact with them — even just having their phone number, she said.

‘‘I’ll be helping people stay informed about things, improve safety and connect with others in the community.’’

‘‘With recent events including the flooding in the township, it was easy to see people needed help coming together.’’

Her role will involve meeting people and being the point of contact for them to know where to go and what to do in the area.

‘‘Businesses, community groups, residents and anyone who needs help can come and chat to me.’’

The goal was to create a database of people in the area and provide them with access to various resources.

Ms Taylor-Giles said she was interested in hearing what people needed in the area and was keen to meet people over the coming year.

She had attended a two-day national conference in Wellington and hoped to introduce the ideas into the Eastern Southland area, she said.

She said people could contact her at Connected Eastern Southland in Gore.