By Rex Warwood

Franklin Family Support Services held their Community Reporting Meeting recently, updating those who attended on the work they had been doing over the last year, as well as highlighting some of the lesser known support services they provide.

Two guest speakers featured on the programme, Alofa Glas of the Lone Star Restaurant and Jack Neal-Pratt of the Franklin Youth Advisory Board.

Lone Star partnered with Franklin Family Support Services last Christmas, providing a community lunch.

Owners Alofa and Jason, their staff, suppliers and a team of volunteers gave their time and provided lunch for over 100 people.

Alofa talked about why her family had decided to forgo their family Christmas and support Franklin Family Support by providing a Christmas lunch at the Lone Star for over 100 people.

“This was a great gesture,” said Geoff, “and one which was greatly appreciated by all who participated.’

Jack spoke about the legacy left for the community by many who have now passed, namely The Jubilee Swimming Pool, which was constructed in 1962.

He put forward a proposal to develop the complex into a ‘Youth Hub‘ thereby utilizing the pool as an asset for future young generations.

Mini workshops were also held at the meeting and those in attendance were asked  for their views on the kinds of services they might consider providing in the future.

In another workshop consideration was given to what might be in a Community Plan for Franklin.

General manager, Geoff Smith, also reported on the development of a parenting support project that was proposed and discussed at their meeting last year.

He said also that, apart from their well-known services, Franklin Family Support makes their facilities available to 10 other organisations and programmes.

“We also participate in a variety of alliances with other groups and organisations to help improve the services available in Franklin,” he said.

“We have just received incredible news from the Trust’s chairperson, Gill Garchow, whose annual report stated  that Family Support logged over 7,000 hours, rendered by volunteers since last November.”

Geoff added that, although there is a lot of pressure on social services at the moment, Franklin Family Support continues to search for ideas and find ways to improve their services to the Franklin community.

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