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More welfare centres open in Christchurch

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development, Employment & Youth Affairs

23 February 2011
Media Statement

More welfare centres open

There are two extra welfare centres operating to help people in need within Christchurch says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

Welfare centres are in operation at Cowles Stadium (170 Pages Road, Aranui) and Burnside High School (151 Greers Road) and by 6pm another will open at Pioneer Stadium, (75 Lyttelton Street, Spreydon).

Hagley Park welfare centre is now full and people are being asked to go to the other three centres if needed.

“The welfare centres are vital for displaced people who are in need of assistance, as a place to find company, food, water and refuge,” says Ms Bennett.

“Donated food supplies are being trucked into the welfare centres by the Food and Grocery Council and other organisations, says Ms Bennett.

The Government helpline has so far taken about 6,000 calls, most relate to locating loved ones, offering donations and enquiries about accommodation options.

Trauma Counselling Services are being mobilised.

The Salvation Army has deployed teams from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin to work out of Welfare centres and Salvation Army centres.

Victim Support is mobilising between 80 and 100 people from around the country to help those affected by the quake.

Relationship Services in Christchurch was badly affected but have a phone counselling service operational on 0800 735 283.

“An event on this scale can test even the most resilient Cantabrians and we say don’t tough it out alone, people are there to help,” says Ms Bennett.

ENDS


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