Eastgate celebrates in demand new facility

 

Posing in front of the Eastgate new facility. From left to right: Easgate Trustee Graeme Burton, Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, Howick Local Board member John Spiller, Howick Local Board member Adele White, and Operations Manager Felicity Bell.

Eastgate Community Trust celebrated its opening of their new day service facility on April 16.

The Trust was established to assist 18 to 64 year old people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.

In the Howick and Pakuranga area, families expressed that they wanted choices and opportunities for their children.

Eastgate provides three main aspects; community participation, ongoing training programmes and employment opportunities.

Auckland is lacking day programme facilities. Eastgate was willing to establish an additional building to facilitate this need and the growing demand in the disability sector.

In 2016, they were granted approval by Auckland Council and the Howick Local Board to use land for another building.

On March 16, Eastgate Community Trust celebrated the opening of the new facility. It will expand their service to accommodate for up to 20 service users per day.

“We currently have 9 new clients,” Felicity Bell, Eastgate’s Operations Manager, said. “They come in the mornings and create a day plan. We also try and give back and interact with the community.”

It will be made available for the Special Olympics table tennis team, as well as other community groups (Howick/Pakuranga Baseball, Disability Connect) on request.

Speeches were given. One of the speakers, Eastgate Trustee Graeme Burman, thanked numerous people for assisting in the development of the new facility. “Community spirit is out there – you just have to find it,” he said.

Anna, from the Ministry of Social Development, said that it was “my greatest pleasure to be a part of this project.”

Members of the Howick Local Board and the Ministry of Health were also present. As was Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown.

Eastgate trustees, staff, funders and clients all gathered around to watch the cutting of the red ribbon. Clapping and small cheers erupted when it was cut by a young client.