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No Rest For The Women Of The Women’s Rest

It really has been a year of firsts and celebrations like no other for the Heretaunga Women’s Centre. Starting the year off with the 100-year anniversary of the historic Hastings Women’s Restrooms, which is home to the Women’s centre, quickly followed by the launching of the SuperGrans programme, a free service supporting women to develop life skills through one-on-one mentoring and workshops. The initiative is already proving to be incredibly successful, and has included car maintenance workshops, being work ready, and budgeting Courses.

At the NZME Hastings City Celebration Awards the Women’s Centre won not only the social enterprise award, but was also the overall supreme winner. Amanda Meynell Centre manager said, “It was fantastic to celebrate and acknowledge the dedication and drive of the volunteers”. And to end the year another win: Planet Women (the centre’s radio show) was awarded Radio Kidnappers Programme of the Year for 2021.

As the centre winds down for the year for the Christmas break there is some sadness that the annual community Christmas lunch could not go ahead. Covid 19 and traffic light conditions made this too difficult. Like many not for profit organisations, Covid 19 and Lockdown has meant careful planning and some budget restraints to help get through the year. During lockdown many of the centre activities moved online, and courses and workshops continued by Zoom. Even with counselling available remotely there was significant increase in the need for this service once lockdown finished.

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The Women’s Centre is looking forward to new projects and being there for women in 2022 and is busy organising next year’s therapies, workshops and courses. The centre is also very excited to be part of the 2022 Art Deco Festival. The Hasting’s Women’s Restrooms were built in the 1920s and blends the trends of Art Deco, Spanish mission and Arts and crafts in its architecture. The centre is hosting a high tea and tours of the centre for this event, and sold out within days of it being advertised.

The centre will be closed from the 24th December to the 10th January.

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