Life to the Max has been providing services to Horowhenua youth for the last seven years.

Young people have access to social workers, mentors, alcohol and drug counselling, help with health issues, training and employment.

The organisation's fragile financial situation has recently led to a joint venture with the Horowhenua Learning Centre.

New Life to the Max's new manager, Samantha Coromandel, said the move would mean significant cost savings.


"We will have more money for services to youth. Life to the Max will continue on as it is. We are not disappearing. We still do all our services independently of HLC."

To maximise those savings there is even a plan to move both organisations into one building next year.

"That would save on office costs for example. Instead of paying twice for internet, or phone services or a building, we will pay only once for each and working together will be much easier too. A lot of Life to the Max clients are involved with HLC already," said CE Patrick Rennell, who now leads both organisations.

Life to the Max helps 300 youth aged 16-20, each year.

"We are passionate about youth and are always looking for new ways to help them succeed in life," Coromandel said.

Life to the Max helps young people get a learner's licence, provides youth coordinators to the region's colleges, has social workers available and often work with entire families to sort out problems.

They also keep an eye on those who tend to wag school and find solutions to why kids do not go to school.

"There are many reasons kids do not attend school. It can be as easy as not having shoes, or they cannot afford the uniform or they have no lunch."


Life to the Max also works with young people on benefits to get them into either training or a job.

"We fit what we do to the needs of the individual.

"We help them gain confidence and grow their self-esteem," said Coromandel, who has been with Life to the Max since 2014, when she began work for the organisation as a social worker.

Rennell stressed the union between Life to the Max and Horowhenua Learning Centre was purely for financial reasons.

"Each will retain its own identity, but Life to the Max's board had come to the conclusion by the end of last year that the organisation's long-term financial sustainability needed to be more secure. They had been running a small loss each year for a number of years."

Joining forces with HLC was one option the board looked at. The joint venture now has one governance board and one chief executive.