“Being able to help people in need gives you a great sense of reward – knowing you’ve been able to play a little part in their lives,” he says.
Fred says when the 0508 TE ARAWA freephone opened, he was fielding at least 25 calls a day. He records their details and forwards them to paeārahi, who then undergo a more in-depth kōrero with the applicant. He says most people call the helpline for assistance with kai and bills.
“People have lost employment and they’re struggling money-wise. It’s so nice to be able to offer them something."
“I’d also get a few calls from whānau who wanted their whānau to ring us for help but were too whakamā. I’d ask for a number, ring them, and encourage them to apply – and they did. They were very grateful and thankful.”