Wellington based charity The Common Unity Project Aotearoa, has helped a Housing New Zealand tenant, find purpose and use her skills in a sustainable way.
Based in Fairfield, Lower Hutt, The Common Unity Project has been supporting locals since 2012 by growing food, providing meals and, from the community hub The ReMakery, offering people a place to share knowledge and skills.
Housing New Zealand tenant, Linda is one of the volunteers at The ReMakery. She says the Common Unity Project Aotearoa has given her friends and a reason to get off the couch everyday.
"I’ve smiled more here than I have in the past ten years."
An experienced sewer, Linda repurposes old fabrics at The ReMakery and turns textiles into handbags, reusable lunch bags and the charity’s famous Shirty Shoppers.
"Before I came here I was so depressed. I sat on the couch and knitted 100 jumpers. But when I found this place, I had a reason to get out. I just love it here; it’s what I do now."
Common Unity Project Aotearoa, Project Coordinator Julia says the charity’s success depends on its people and the value of reciprocity.
"The Common Unity Project Aotearoa is not a service; we are about giving and receiving. For Housing New Zealand tenants, that is very safe and it makes them feel supported and needed."
Housing New Zealand Hutt Valley, Area Manager, Alice agrees and says community groups like these are crucial when building vibrant, healthy communities.
"The support and sense of purpose the Common Unity Project Aotearoa gives our tenants is truly life changing, not just for them but also their whanāu.
"We want our tenants and whanāu to live well in our homes and a key part of this is enabling and fostering connectedness with their local community. Therefore we work very hard to encourage and put our tenants in touch with groups or services that can help them."
Find out more on Common Unity Project Aotearoa's website https://www.commonunityproject.org.nz/