We are very excited to announce that Dawn Hastings has been appointed as the new Community Development Worker for Neighbourhood Trust (NHT).
Dawn has lots of experience working with people, and is a wonderful listener and relationship builder. She is trained as a primary school teacher, has completed counselling training, and has a background working in mental health support, including suicide prevention.
She is looking forward to being part of the NHT team, and supporting people in the Mairehau and St Albans community.
“Being isolated is one of the most challenging issues in the community,” says Dawn. “A lot of people have Facebook friends, but no one they can actually talk to. Trust is often a real challenge for people too. So having someone they trust that they can talk to and figure out what they deep down already know, is so important for people’s mental wellbeing.”
Dawn is looking forward to being a part of the development of the new NHT Whanau Centre on Nancy Ave, and working at the grassroots level.
“It can become a hub that people know they can go to and experience God’s love in practical ways, and have someone to talk to,” says Dawn. “But it’s not the place that will do the work, it’s the people; because it still comes back to building relationships, and a building isn’t going to do that.”
Another positive attribute of Dawn’s is that she’s very relatable, with real world experience. “I know the challenges of raising children by myself, and I have my own personal experience of mental health,” says Dawn. “I think that’s given me an understanding of many challenges that people go through. It allows me to work alongside people in a practical way, not coming in with all the ideals.”
In her free time, Dawn enjoys spending time with her four adult children, and three (nearly four!) grandchildren. She also loves to paint rocks. “Painting rocks gives me time to reflect, as it’s not head work, it’s just a nice, relaxing thing to do,” says Dawn.