New Service Awhi Tairāwhiti

New Service Awhi Tairāwhiti

Share page:

Barnardos launches Awhi Tairāwhiti

Barnardos is excited to be launching Awhi Tairāwhiti, a new service combining Barnardos Early Learning Services and our Child and Family Services under one roof.

Awhi Tairāwhiti, which means ‘embracing the people of Tairāwhiti’, is a responsive service that focuses on providing quality early learning alongside wrap-around family support, parenting advice and programmes to whānau where required.

"There has been a steady demand for early learning services and the need for parenting programmes in Tairāwhiti. Barnardos has expertise in both, so it’s a perfect initiative. The service is the first of its kind in the region and will offer education to tamariki and provide parents and caregivers with the opportunity to grow and learn, all in one location,” says Barnardos Tairāwhiti, Service Manager, Chris Semmens. 

“We know that the first 1000 days of a child’s life is the most critical time for their learning development so combining early learning services and social services in a one-stop-hub location, will be the best investment we could make for tamariki and whānau in Tairāwhiti.”

The service will ultimately be a community hub for parents and caregivers to find out information about what to expect as a parent, how to best support their child’s development and where to access other services. Parents whose tamariki attend the centre can also participate in Barnardos’ workshops and programmes. Rangatahi from local high schools will also have the opportunity to participate in educational programmes with Barnardos to gain ‘real life’ work experiences for their future.

Whānau and tamariki are a vital part of Awhi Tairāwhiti. Morning waiata and shared meal preparation are just some of the learning opportunities families can join in on. We engage tamariki with the natural world as much as possible, with a focus on using natural materials. This will support our tamariki to develop an appreciation of the earth and their role as kaitiaki (guardian).

A considerable amount of support has already been received to set the service up and running, and we are very excited that The Barnardos Foundation will be gifting its first grant to Awhi Tairāwhiti on the open day, on 4 April.

The Barnardos Foundation was established in late 2022. It is funded through Barnardos bequests, and projects enabled by donors which are aimed at helping Barnardos innovate, research and develop services that will make a lasting difference to families across Aotearoa.

"The Barnardos Foundation is proud to make its first grant to Awhi Tairāwhiti to support a project that uses Barnardos’ unique insights in both early learning and social services. This is what sets Awhi Tairawhiti apart and we know it will make a lasting difference in the lives of many whānau,” says Barnardos Foundation Chair, Matt Reid.

The public open day is on 4 April 2023.


For any media enquiries, email or call 027 5447608.