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Some need car seats, some have questions regarding their child’s behaviour and wellbeing, some just want to talk about what they have been through. Whatever the support displaced Christchurch families’ need, Plunket areas around the country have stepped up to the challenge.
Nelson is one of the areas that many Christchurch families have fled to. Plunket’s Nelson Clinical Leader Kate Bolton says they have had nearly 60 Christchurch families in the area seeking support through the Nelson Plunket team and that number is increasing daily.
“We really aren’t sure how many families are here so we decided to just open the doors. Our nurses and clinics were already very busy so we needed to make sure we were able to support these new families in ways that really worked for them.”
The Nelson Plunket team has started a new drop-in group aimed directly at families from Christchurch, the first of which was held last Friday. Plunket put on morning tea for the new families and organised for nurses, a lactation consultant and a child and family councillor from Barnardos to be there. Kate said the response from families attending the special group had been really positive.
“We even had some really new families who hadn’t had a Plunket visit yet so we were able to give them their first Well Child check. Others found speaking with the councillor and each other very useful. It was just being able to talk with someone who had been through it or understood, and to know they had support. “
The Nelson group was so successful and helpful to those who attended that Kate helped organise another in Blenheim which was held this week that had 10 families attend. Another will be held in Nelson and will continue if the need remains.
Kate said one of the hardest parts has been getting information out to let families know the drop-in clinic was being held and that they can come and see someone from Plunket if they need to.
“We will continue to monitor the need as it goes on. It is changing as the days go by. Firstly the need was car seats and portacots. Now it is moving on to how do we cope from here?
“It’s been hard work but we’ve had support from other areas and really it’s just about supporting each other to support those families in need.”