Lucy Afemui has been with us for just a few months but she's already making a huge difference for families and children in South Auckland.
Lucy’s passionate about enabling local families to have a voice in decisions that affect them, so soon after she began her role as a Plunket Community Services Team Leader she set about doing just that. She met families, listened to their stories and swung into action to help them get the best possible service from Plunket.
For example, families in Mangere East were struggling to access Plunket playgroups because they weren’t within walking distance of home. Lucy helped to establish the ‘Tiny Jandals Plunket Playgroup’ close to the families in Mangere East – an initiative that’s been so successful that its original one-day-a-week operation has recently been extended to two.
Lucy’s absolutely delighted. “I love seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces,” she says, “and their parents – particularly those with large families – are enjoying it too; it’s a chance to have precious one-on-one time with their toddlers.” Lucy comments, “We do still need more resources to help parents to bond with their children. We are so grateful for any donations.”
Families in other South Auckland suburbs have also benefited from Lucy’s energy: she’s been the driving force behind a new playgroup in Otara, a walking group in Manurewa and a coffee group in Papakura.
Lucy continues to listen to families in South Auckland to find out what other services they need. “I feel honoured that so many people have been willing to share their stories with me,” she says. “It’s a privilege to hear these and to be able to help.”