An event this weekend will give people the chance to nd out what groups, services and clubs are available to the Te Puke community

The first Te Puke community expo was held in August last year. And while it wasn’t intended to be an annual event, organisers have decided it is time for another. The second Te Puke Community Expo is being organised by a working group of COLAB — a collaborative group formed in Te Puke bringing together a wide range of groups and organisations from the town’s social and community sectors.

“It’s really a networking group of social service providers and people who are interested, who want to see Te Puke be connected and thriving, ” says working group member Margaret Scrimgeour. “There are all sorts — iwi, church groups, social groups, Empowerment, Plunket, the Search Party Charitable Trust, Vector [Charitable Trust], who all want to see Te Puke working together.” The rst expo was to give the community knowledge and information about the services and community groups that exist and to help people connect to them.

“We felt it would be good to do another one and encourage the community to engage again, maybe have more groups engaging and sharing their vision, ” says Margaret. “Last time families were walking around and they came across services in Te Puke that they weren’t even aware of — and they hooked up and networked, ” says group member Jenny Wotten. “We had quite a few outcomes last year where people’s needs were met, ” says Dale Snell, who is also part of the working group. Some of this year’s exhibitors will be new and they are all being encouraged to devise fun activities to keep people engaged.

There will also be a kids’ zone, demonstrations of tai chi, kapa haka and gymsports. “It also allows services to connect with [other] services, so it’s networking for them as well, ” says Dale. “One of the reasons for COLAB was to identify any gaps and support everyone’s mahi [work] and there’s nothing better than being able to say from a social services perspective that I know who I am referring people to.” Groups and services on show Te Puke Times · 1

The cross section of exhibitors, from leisure through to health, wellbeing and social services, reflects the working group’s desire to have a wide cross section of the community attend the free expo. “We feel it is the appropriate time to do it again to see where people are at and what gaps there needs to be.”