The Waverley Baptist church housed in what was once an old garage in Seddon St is run by keen and committed volunteers who run events every day of the week.

This special team includes Owen Savage a foundation member, a DJ who runs a wildly popular disco fun morning for toddlers and their mums every week called "Mainly Music''.

The Tuesday morning session is so popular that around 40 to 60 under-fives and their mums travel to Waverley from all over South Taranaki, from north of Patea through to Waitotara in the south.

"We have a wonderful time. I play all the great old kid's songs, we supply every toy imaginable, there's a lot of singing, dancing and laughing. There's a team of five volunteers and we even provide a lovely morning tea for everyone. It's a great community event and one we're very proud of.''


Dedicated volunteer Cindy Burgess said she's a newbie to the town.

"I've only been here 10 years.''

Cindy runs the op shop, sorts out the mercy parcels (like food grants), is always on the floor helping at the Mainly Music sessions and is at the helm of the Traditional Country and Western Club together with her husband Cliff.

Community and helping people is a very big part of my life and beliefs, she said.

When Cindy was just 6, her mother died, leaving 10 children without parents.

"We were in Ohakune and were taken to the Social Welfare which was in the old Wanganui Post Office. I didn't have a good childhood at all. I was in 21 foster homes over 15 years and went to too many schools to remember.''

The one thing that kept her going through many miserable year was her love of music especially bluegrass mountain music and cowboy-style country music, she said.

She has won several awards and singing at a country and western competition was how she met her husband Cliff who was one of the judges.


Cindy said she worries about the number of dysfunctional families today.
"It's getting worse. I don't think you can entirely blame CYFs because it's generationally chronically bad. Generations of terrible parenting, too many young girls having babies so they can have the DPB. It's not right."

She remembers as a young girl being released from Social Welfare care and having to live in the YWCA hostel in Wicksteed St in Wanganui.

"I knew nothing and of course got into trouble and had to have my baby adopted out.''

She remembers most of her childhood spent in isolation because most of her foster placements were miles out in rural area.

"I used to wander round singing and was mostly alone.''

Cindy said living now in Waverley and volunteering at the church has been a good life for her and Cliff.'

"Cliff doesn't keep good health at all now. I got us a little dog to keep him company while I'm here at the centre.''

Owen reckons he's still pretty fit and said if it wasn't for great volunteers like Cindy the centre would be very hard-pushed to keep up all their activities.

The church activities include, as well as a church service every Sunday, Mainly Music on Tuesdays at 10am, Op Shop open Wednesday Thursday and Fridays 9.30am - 1.30pm,
cooking on a shoestring every second Tuesday of the month, pensioner meals first Wednesday of the month.

Owen said because he's a widower the pensioner meal days can't come round fast enough for him.

"Absolutely delicious meals for just a donation. Pudding as well, mind you, cooked by the lady volunteers. We are very fortunate.''