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Award for family fun programmes

Award for family fun programmes

December 9, 2002

It's free, it's fun and it brings families together.

This is North Shore City Council's Active City Programme, which provides scores of free, fun events throughout the summer at the city's parks, beaches and reserves.

Devised by the former Birkenhead City Council in 1989, this popular programme has won accolades from families throughout North Shore City. And now the city's community co-ordinators (COCOs) who run the events have received the New Zealand Recreation Association's YMCA Strengthening Families/Whanau Award for an outstanding programme or project.

The city has five COCOs who take Active City out to North Shore families. Jill Nerheny, Sally Cargill, Helen Topliss, Pam Chapman and Carol Murray received their awards at a special ceremony at the council's community services and parks committee meeting last week (December 5).

Committee chairperson Margaret Miles says the programme attracts between 50 and 500 adults and children, depending on the weather, venue and activity.

"Three times a week from October until the end of March, our city's five community co-ordinators take their vanloads of toys and sports equipment to the people to encourage families to play together," Councillor Miles says.

"The colourful equipment needs more than one person to operate it, so volunteers are heavily involved and everyone learns to share. Each programme is slightly different, and is designed to serve the needs of each area."

Margaret Miles says the council is pleased that its community liaison department has won the award, which recognises and encourages achievement in getting families to play together:

"Those who play together, stay together," she says.


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