The social work service we now know as Jigsaw Whanganui began in 1989 as Home-Builders Family Support Services.
In 2004 Parent Support Services amalgamated with Home-Builders and in 2007 the agency began using Jigsaw Whanganui as its trading name.

To mark the anniversary, Kay Benseman has been brought on board to produce a publication about the agency.
"We're really wanting to capture the stories of some of those early people who got things off the ground, because it was really visionary at the time," says Kay. "There was nothing else like it happening."
"And we're not a nationwide thing either," says Jigsaw office manager Gayna Ryan. "We're just here in Whanganui, and that's been challenging over the years in terms of funding."
"Doing the work, as well as doing all of the work to get the funds to do the work, is immense," says Kay.

"One thing I've noticed is that we also work to lift the delivery of social services right across all agencies and all that interact in that area, from agencies like Police and Family Violence to Foodbank and others, anybody who's working in that arena," says Gayna.

"My observation would be that quite a unique aspect of what Jigsaw does is its genuine, bicultural approach to things. It's not an iwi-based organisation but it's hard to describe as mainstream because there's a lot about what Jigsaw does that is thoroughly different in challenging some of those norms, and being relevant and approachable to a wide range of whanau in Whanganui," says Kay.


Kay has been delving into the archives and will be interviewing some of the key players. There have been just two managers, beginning with Mary Beaumont and continuing with Tim Metcalfe who still runs Jigsaw today.
Kay says they want to get as many stories as possible from people who have been involved with the agency, but some from the early days are hard to identify and track down.
"Everybody has a story to tell and we would hate to finish the publication and find we'd missed someone out," she says. "We want to capture a diversity of voices in terms of the key people who have not only established it but kept the fires burning throughout."

Kay would also like to see some photographs from the early days too, if possible.
"Tim has given me quite a bit of freedom to be objective and mirror back to Jigsaw, where they've come from, what their stories are and where they're heading."
The publication can then be used as a resource for staff and potential funders as well as being made available to the public.
"I feel it's a privilege to be trusted with those stories. The field of social work is a field based on trust."

To contribute to the Jigsaw story with memories and photographs contact the agency at