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CARE Waitakere Trust started as a dream in the hearts of a group of individuals who longed to see a social service agency in Te Atatu Peninsula. A particular need was identified for a professional counselling service which could offer high quality counselling to anyone in need of support, whether or not they were able to afford to pay the full fee. It was soon evident that there was also a great need for budgeting advice and support in the local community.

Te Atatu Bible Chapel generously gifted us a cottage owned by them, which was restored and redecorated over the summer by a very committed and excited group of people, and CARE House, 64 Waipani Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, opened its doors on 28th February 1999 with a powhiri and opening ceremony attended by the community.

Before we would be eligible for any community funding we needed to prove ourselves as a credible presence in the community. As a counselling team we held fast to our ethos of never turning anyone away who could not afford to pay for their counselling, and this meant that many people donated hours and hours of their own time over several months and years. We also established our Budget Service which was staffed entirely by volunteers, ably led by Gail Hembest who was both our administrator and Budget Service Co-ordinator from 1999 to 2008.

Our goal was to do everything with excellence, so we did things slowly but as well as we were able. As our credibility and reputation grew we attracted our first community funding and eventually gained accreditation with Child Youth and Family Services (Ministry of Social Development). With funding from MSD and other Government and community organisations we were able to become established and fulfil our dream of being a useful social presence in the community of Te Atatu Peninsula and the wider Waitakere area.

Demand for our services grew very quickly, and it was soon obvious that the two counselling rooms and one budgeting room (which was a converted laundry) would not be enough space for us to run our service long-term. We began a building project to double the size of CARE House in 2005 and with the generosity of Te Atatu Bible Chapel, the ASB Community Trust and the Waitakere Licensing Trust we officially opened the new and much larger CARE House in 2005.

We now have a strong team of professional counsellors and budget advisors.  We also offer a number of life skills programmes.

Our journey to this point has been challenging and exciting.  We are still growing and changing to meet the needs in our community and our vision has not dimmed!  We are enormously grateful to all those, and there have been many, who have supported us along the way and who will always be part of the CARE Waitakere Trust story....


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