Wanganui Budget Advisory Service is celebrating 25 years as an incorporated society but the service has been operating in the Whanganui community for nearly 60 years.
Past and present budget advisers and committee members, along with representatives of other community organisations, Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall and representatives of National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust and Ministry of Social Development, gathered at the Trinity Church Hall on Friday, September 7, to mark the agency's 25th anniversary.
A birthday cake was cut by Jenny Nixon who has given 35 years' service to the agency and newest member Sally McConnell.
"Every now and then you need to look at the positives," manager Sandy Fage said.
"We have had a long, strong presence in the community. We've been an incorporated society for 25 years but we've been in the community for over 50 years. Unfortunately, the records are gone but we think it's almost 60 years."
The service is predominantly funded by the Ministry of Social Development and also has support from the National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust.
A new initiative was working with youth and in schools to try to fill the gaps in knowledge and education about budgeting, Fage said.
Demand for services was increasing, particularly as beneficiaries faced rental prices that were 70 per cent of their income.
"That makes things pretty difficult.
"I'm blown away by the people who come into our office every day and the huge step they take to allow us into their lives. We get people from all walks of life who need our help."
The service currently has 10 advisers, four of them still training, and a governance board of which seven members are volunteers.
"It's good to have some new trainees because it's a big commitment," Fage said.
"I started in 2000 as a volunteer while I was working in a different job. I did home visits in the evenings and at weekends. In 2007 I moved into the role I'm doing now.
"It's something I've always been passionate about. Being employed doing something you're passionate about is awesome."