Financial Mentors Gather at First National Hui
The first national Salvation Army Financial Mentoring hui was held in Auckland recently, bringing together around 45 specialists to discuss current issues in the field.
The gathering at Auckland City Corps (church) in Mt Wellington on 15–16 August, under the theme ‘Strengthening Financial Mentoring’, included 29 Salvation Army financial mentors from around the country along with representatives of partner organisations.
Salvation Army financial mentors came from Whangārei, Auckland, Pukekohe, Tauranga, Hamilton, Gisborne, Palmerston North, Levin, Porirua, Nelson, Christchurch, Greymouth and Queenstown.
Partner groups present, who also gave presentations, included Good Shepherd/Good Loans, Christians Against Poverty, Debt Fix/Debt Relief Foundation and Financial Service Complaints Ltd, along with a professional trainer.
Salvation Army National Financial Mentoring Coordinator Paul Forster says the hui was the first time that Salvation Army financial mentors had come together nationally.
‘We wanted to strengthen the networks among the financial mentoring staff and help them understand they are part of something bigger,’ says Paul.
‘Bigger centres such as Manukau and Royal Oak have financial mentoring teams of three to four people, but smaller centres may have as few as one part-time financial mentor.
‘The hui was an opportunity to strengthen connections between staff and partner organisations, to learn from each other, and keep up to date with the latest trends and professional developments.
‘With the increase in the cost of living, we are seeing more complex cases and growing numbers of people in paid employment who need support. In Auckland we are seeing signs of mortgage stress and more people with house loans are presenting to us for help as they struggle with high interest rates.’
Paul says staff were excited to be together at the hui which may become a regular event.