Challenges in new vocation for Suzie Shaw

By Christine McKay

With a background in banking, Suzie Shaw knows a thing or two about balancing a cheque book.

As the new manager of Dannevirke's budgeting service, Suzie, who grew up in Waipukurau, is looking forward to the challenges her new role brings.

"I've yet to do an adviser's course, but I'm helping my team cope with the increasing influx of clients and I want to get out in the community and spread the word about the service we can offer," she said.

"Unfortunately, we have people turning up as a last resort, with no money for food and the cupboards bare. We do give out emergency food parcels but need to work with our clients longer term. It's not just about handing over a voucher and letting people go on their way."

Suzie said asking for help early is the key and she wants people to realise there's nothing scary about going into the centre for help.

"It doesn't matter what walk of life you're from, it's not getting easier to budget, it's getting harder," she said.

With more than 150 clients and numbers rising, Suzie said she believes people simply can't survive on a benefit.

"Yes, people do need to be educated on how to budget, but it's very hard for the ones on benefits," she said.

From a farming background, Suzie spent eight years for as a customer service officer and a consultant in the banking industry and the last 12 months as a mum.

"It was the first time I'd been a full time mum to my daughter, who's 11," she said.

The Dannevirke and Districts Budgeting Service can be contacted on 06 374-5211.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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