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Eastern Family Harm team focused on food, whanau and ahwhi

"Eastern Family Harm team focused on food, whanau and ahwhi"

Over the past few weeks The Hawke’s Bay Police Family Harm team have organised 50 hampers loaded with donated food and non-perishable items, over 200 wrapped presents and 300 children's Santa sacks to deliver to needy families.

This morning these were distributed across the wider Hawkes Bay area by Police staff and partner agencies.

Senior Sergeant Caroline Martin says “Over the Christmas and New Year period the number of family harm calls for service increase dramatically in Hawkes Bay.

It’s not uncommon for Police to experience 40 reported family harm calls for service in a 24-hour period.

This is only a small portion of family harm experienced in our community.

This time of year can be a stressful and an expensive time for many with the pressure of buying food, hosting meals and visiting whanau.”

“We are focussed on family and whanau so we are about addressing and supporting all the needs of the families including our tamariki.

We thought this year, together with our partners we would create some Christmas cheer and special deliveries. I would personally like to thank the following people who made this morning possible: "Te Hahi, Farmers Hastings staff; Women’s refuge; Nourished for nil; Charity Foundation - A children’s Christmas and some of our local Police staff.

There were many tears of joy today surprising whanau with the gifts and hampers.

One family we delivered to had no food in the cupboard or presents under the Christmas tree so we made their day.

All those we visited today were extremely grateful.” she says.

The successful operation was down to two dedicated police staff members who had a clear vision to spread holiday joy and help others - Acting Sergeant Richard Jarman and Constable Susan Williams.

I am very grateful to have them on our team says Senior Sergeant Martin.
“Our staff from a variety of different workgroups offered to help prepare for the day or assist with deliveries.

Staff have said they have never seen anything like it before - it was a truly rewarding experience for all involved,” she says.

Carleen Te Nahu, Clinical Team Leader from Presbyterian Support Services thinks that this was a real eye-opener to a lot of the recipients today.

“It’s all about police and the community working together hand-in-hand to support our whanau in the community," she says.

We can only help those whanau we know about so over the Christmas and New Year period if you see or know of someone experiencing family harm please call Police," says Senior Sergeant Martin.

The Family Harm team will also be loading up patrol cars on Christmas day with gifts for children who don’t normally get to experience a happy Christmas.

We know there's a lot of pressure on people so it’s really important that we are here to help,” she says.


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