Kids all over Nelson-Tasman are rifling through wardrobes and raiding jewellery boxes as they prepare for Kids Dress a Grown Up Day on Friday, May 13th.
The event is a fundraiser for Family Works, one of Nelson’s oldest social services agencies.
“We’re asking offices and sports teams to get in on the fun, let their kids choose their outfits and turn up to work or practise with a gold coin,” said Family Works Regional Manager, Chris Walsh. He adds that it’s up to participants how little or large they want to make the day but encourages people to “be brave – in the name of social good!”
Family Works has been working with children, youth and susceptible adults for over 100 years, helping them to learn skills and build strategies to make lasting and positive change in their lives. In Nelson-Tasman, the organisation provides counselling; home based social work; family workers in schools and kindergartens; youth counselling and the Family Works Youth Service.
“Our clients often face complex challenges in their lives,” says Chris. “Whether it’s a struggling parent, a family in crisis or a young person with nowhere to turn, we know that they can and do, flourish when they can reconnect with their communities.”
New Zealand should be the best place in the world to grow up. Right now, that’s not the case for all of our children and young people. Kids Dress a Grown Up Day is a lighthearted way to celebrate what we have in own lives and to recognise and support those who live without the safety and protection we take for granted.
So, unlock the family jewels, throw open the wardrobe (and the dress up box), and let the child in your life dress you for the day! Help Family Works ensure that growing up in New Zealand can be a magical place for all children. Register today: Facebook – Kid Dress a Grown Up Day.
Family Works Stories
Jess*, 17, was having problems at home. Things progressed so that living there became untenable. With neither job nor home, Jess phoned Family Works. Jess was assigned a social worker who arranged emergency accommodation for her. With the immediate problem solved, Jess linked in with the Family Works Youth Service, a wraparound support service for young people that included counselling and access to the Ministry of Social Development youth payment.
For Jess, things have improved. She has returned to education and, with Family Works support, things have become “so much easier. I am not freaking out about money and food,” she said.
Kate* and her young family were made homeless in the 2014 Murphy Street floods. Worse still, son James* who was three at the time, witnessed his pet guinea pigs float away in their cages and neighbourhood cats drowning.
“It all happened really quickly,” Kate recalls “The water was so strong we couldn’t just leave we had to wait until they could get us out.” The family left with a few belongings and the family dog.
Fortunately, James’ kindy was engaged with Family Works’ Social Workers in Schools programme. “James found it all very unsettling,” said Kate. “When I explained to kindy what was going on, they put us in touch with Family Works. The kids began the weekly ‘something happened to me’ programme and they [Family Works] were just there for us.”
James still gets worried when it rains but the family is now in a much better space. Family Works – support when, where and how you need it.
*Not their real names.