A Hamilton charity, which has been a base for more than 50 community groups, is in urgent need of a new home itself.

Parents Place was established 20 years ago to provide a homely venue and support to volunteer groups in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.

Their current property in Boundary Rd, Claudelands was recently sold, and the founding trustee of Parents Place, Christine Norris, is desperate to find a replacement for the 30-plus groups that depend on the facility.

"We have looked at many alternative properties but seen nothing suitable that's available right now," Ms Norris says.


"We have the ideal property here — an old character home with a garden where we grow fruit and vegetables to share with the families."

She says the organisations using Parents Place have had to split out across different community houses and other temporary venues.

"Large halls or modern meeting rooms aren't a good fit for every group, there is a need for affordable, smaller spaces that are family friendly," says Ms Norris.

"We need something similar and are hoping there is a solution out there and someone who values what we do, who can help.

"It is important to us that the women who come to these groups feel valued in their roles as mothers, so we have always put a high priority on ensuring the venue is nice with a friendly homely vibe. It's a tough world out there for mothers and volunteers and we have been able to make life easier for them for 20 years and want to continue. But we need a home to do it."

She said that the council process in helping them find a new home was taking too long, after approaching them in June.

"I'm sure the council election candidates will be made aware of this situation.

"I was surprised by one or two of the councillors at the meeting in June not knowing who we are and they seem to be a bit out of touch with the community."

The group had previously asked the city if they could move into a 1930s house in Ruakiwi Road, the group was prepared to fundraise for alterations.


However, councillors were concerned that they would be showing favouritism by offering the building to Parents Place, without consulting other groups.

Councillor James Casson said at the time he had no problem offering it Parents Place, and the council had other underused buildings at Enderley and Fairfield Parks that the group could use.

Parents Place charges $5 per hour to groups that need a base for their volunteer groups.

Over the years Parents Place has provided a home base for birth classes, parenting courses, new mothers support groups, trauma support, toy library, play groups, breastfeeding support, Muslim and Somalian play groups and many other parenting-related activities. In addition the house has been made available to a wide variety of groups

The lease expires on September 25, and the group is urgently looking for alternative premises and willing to explore shared options for the future.

Contact the trust on parentsplacehamilton@gmail.com or call Christine Norris 027 4334462.