A chance to support Southlanders in need

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    Organiser Melissa Aitken with some of the donations collected ahead of the free haircuts and other services for Southlanders in need event next weekend.

    THE call is going out for donations of items for the free haircuts and other services for Southlanders in need event to be held next weekend.

    Organiser Melissa Aitken said donations were coming in and had been gratefully received, but they still needed more non-perishable food items, school lunch supplies, bread, head lice treatments and toiletries.

    This will be the sixth such event to be held in Invercargill.

    The previous two events were attended by about 500 people in need, and organisers expect to see similar numbers this time.

    “When you start something as humbling as this day you cannot stop,” Ms Aitken said.

    “Each event is getting bigger and bigger with the number of people showing up in need and the amount of donations.

    “We love what we do to be able to help people.”

    The event involves providing those in need with free haircuts and a variety of other services.

    Ms Aitken said this was the first event where she had not needed to advertise for hairdressers and other service providers, with 16 hairdressers, two massage therapists and two beauty therapists approaching her to donate their services.

    Representatives from Triton Hearing, Accelerate Physiotherapy, Tooth Works and Awarua Whanau Services will be attending to support the event. The New Zealand Fire Service will also be handing out smoke alarms, and nurses will be conducting free blood pressure checks.

    Riverside Rentals has provided a van so volunteers can transport those who need a ride to and from the event. Phone Ms Aitken on 027 533 3600 to book.

    People attending the event would be invited by organisations working to support them, including Work and Income NZ, Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, Awarua Whanau Services, Presbyterian Support Southland, Invercargill Women’s Refuge, Age Concern Southland, Southern District Health Board and church groups.

    The biannual event will be held on Sunday, August 5.

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