Driving lessons and mowers for families


The mothers of many former refugee families who have settled in Dunedin are to receive free driving lessons and lawnmowers.
Help has come from a donation of more than $4000 to Red Cross from the Daybreak Trust.
The donation follows conversations with the households, which highlighted the need, Red Cross southern humanitarian services manager Sue Price.
Many of the families have lost their husbands and fathers, who have died or are missing in the Middle East.
Daybreak Trust was set up in the late 1990s, out of the Dunedin Collective for Women.
Trustee Jocelyn Harris said it was a collaboration between Wilkinson Rodgers lawyers and had aimed to support women in abusive relationships by offering them low-interest loans to allow them to retain their homes.
Emerita Prof Harris said they had some spare funds and, after consulting Red Cross, the trustees decided to give to the former refugee families.
Ms Price said the donation would be helpful for the families, as they would continue to become more and more independent once they were able to drive and keep their properties tidy.
The most recent group of 34 Syrian former refugees arrived in Dunedin on Saturday. The next group arrives on March 3.
Ms Price encouraged people to volunteer to support former refugee families and apply for the next Red Cross volunteer training in February.
Red Cross was still looking for duvet inners and woollen blankets of any size, and new toilet brushes, floor mops and brooms.