Rotorua Neighbourhood Support has been thrown a funding lifeline - so much so it's been able to employ a new assistant co-ordinator to help keep the community group up and running.

Neighbourhood Support announced they were desperately seeking extra funding for a second co-ordinator in mid-September last year and if funds were not found, the board would have had to review its viability.

Neighbourhood Support co-ordinator Bruce Quedley said for a while they weren't sure they would be able to get assistance, but were eventually able to negotiate funding from the council, the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, and Trust Lotteries.

"Because of that funding we have also been able to acquire another staff member to work alongside me here in the police station," Mr Quedley said.


Jan Matthews, originally from Manawatu, started her new position as the assistant co-ordinator last week.

She moved to Rotorua four years ago to be with her partner, Brett Leggett,, a machine operator at Landcorp.

Since moving to Rotorua Mrs Matthews, a hairdresser by trade, has driven tractors, mowed lucerne for Fiber Fresh Feeds, worked on a dairy farm, volunteered for the police and been an administrator for Landcorp.

"I met Bruce through a motorcycle club originally, and when I did my three months [volunteering for the police] last year he was working in the same place and he just said to me 'if a position comes up would you be interested in it?' I said 'Yes, absolutely'.

"When I first came here I had the intention of working with people and for people, to help people, that was what I wanted to do, but it just didn't work out that way.

"So finally, four years later, I'm in a job where I can help people and do some good."

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Mrs Matthews has three children - two boys, Josh Bardell, 25 and Lachy Matthews, 20, and one girl Cameron Matthews, 17, who is in her last year of school at Reporoa College.

Mrs Matthews said her family were very proud of her and had been highly supportive. She said she was a compassionate person and she found helping others to help themselves very satisfying.

"When I was younger it was Neighbourhood Watch, and it was a watch, whereas these days they seem to come together more as a group so they are getting to know each other.

"They know each other's needs, if somebody has an illness or if somebody is on dialysis, somebody may have an intellectual disability or somebody might not have a licence, so they rely on their neighbours.

"I find that bringing people together in that way to help each other is really satisfying."

She will be working 20 hours each week, three days a week.