An elegant garden party fundraiser with high tea and hats will be held to recognise the work the Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC) does in the community.

With 300 staff members and more than 100 volunteers the association delivers $17 million worth of vital social services every year throughout the East Coast from Gisborne to Central Hawke's Bay.

Since opening its first East Coast service at Hillsbrook Children's Home in Havelock North on February 14 1946 PSEC has grown to become one of the region's largest not-for-profit social service organisations.

Barbara Hodgson, who has been involved with the organisation for 27 years, including as chairwoman, said demand was growing across all of its services, and they could not continue without the generosity of people in the region.

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"Although government funding is received, PSEC is responsible for raising a shortfall of $1.2m each year to ensure these services remain free to the people who need them most."

The organisation delivers key services to meet the specific needs of the community and all of the money made goes directly back into providing services that make a real difference to people in their time of need.

This ranges from helping elderly with in-home aged care through Enliven, assisting children facing family violence through Family Works, hospice care for the terminally ill through the Cranford Hospice, and support for those with disabilities through Real People.

"Over the 27 years I have been involved, I've seen our work make a real difference; particularly in the growth and stability of Family Works that funds social worker services in schools, to meet increasing demand for children coping with family violence."

Mrs Hodgson said there had also been the growth of its Enliven services, which allowed elderly people to remain in their own homes for longer, and their Enliven Day Centre, which offered a range of recreational activities.

Former PSEC board and lifetime member John Gould said PSEC's services had had a meaningful influence on the lives of many throughout the region.

"It hones in on people's needs and helps fill those gaps, lifting them up through the work of Enliven, Family Works, Cranford Hospice, Real People and delivering real solutions, hope and incentive."

The garden party will showcase the organisation's history and its work in the community at the Enliven Centre, Pakowhai Rd, on Sunday March 5 from 1pm.

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Mrs Hodgson will speak about how PSEC works with members of the local community to provide practical support.

The event includes classical music, raffles, a silent auction and traditional games, with guests asked to don a hat for the elegant gathering.

Tickets to the PSEC Celebration garden party are available online at psec.org.nz.