CMM broadens presence in Eastern Christchurch with New Brighton hub

CMM Executive Director Jill Hawkey signing the Memorandum of Understanding with New Brighton Union Minister Mark Gibson.

The partnership between the Christchurch Methodist Mission and the New Brighton Union Parish has been strengthened following the opening of the new Village House & Chapel of the Waves.

Two more members of CMM's Community Response team have joined existing New Brighton–based Community Development Worker Tim Corry in the parish's new building complex. Tracey Gibbs and Tineke Tuiletufuga will use the new office as a base for their work in schools with children who are struggling with anxiety and overseeing the Community Connections Grants scheme through the Red Cross.

CMM Community Development Manager Andrea Wilson-Tukaki says that the move to New Brighton is part of a strategy to have a presence in more communities throughout Christchurch. "With Tracey and Tineke in New Brighton it will mean increased engagement with communities in the east of the city. It will also further connect CMM with the New Brighton Union Parish and the fantastic work that they are doing in this community, " she says.

Since 2015 the New Brighton Union Parish and CMM has partnered with the Todd and Tindall Foundations on the Wellbeing New Brighton project. New Brighton was hit hard by the Canterbury earthquakes and afterwards a huge influx of families moved into New Brighton as they sought cheaper housing. New migrant families coming to the city to find work also flocked to the area. The Parish and local pre-school identified a number of issues impacting families in the community including social isolation among new families (particularly those from other countries), significant housing issues, poverty and a lack of support. Wellbeing New Brighton was then established, aiming to increase the wellbeing of vulnerable families in New Brighton using a strengths-based community development approach.

New Brighton Union Minister Mark Gibson says that the parish and CMM are committed to a partnership that promotes increased wellbeing in the local community. "We have seen the big difference that Tim and the Wellbeing New Brighton project have made amongst families in our community. The parish is really looking forward to supporting the work of the Methodist Mission as it continues to develop in New Brighton and Eastern Christchurch," he says.