Birthright Whanganui is celebrating 60 years of supporting single parents and their families.

The charitable organisation is inviting all past and present families, staff and board members of Birthright Whanganui to attend next month's celebrations.

Manager Tara Allan said anyone who has engaged with Birthright Whanganui over the years is welcome to attend.

"We are very happy to support families on the lifelong journey and that shows up if families come back to visit and reconnect."


She said Birthright's goal had always been to nurture and empower families to become resilient and confident, sometimes working with families through the development of a child from birth to around 18 years.

It is affiliated to the national organisation Birthright New Zealand and currently has 50-60 Whanganui families actively engaged.

Birthright provides day-to-day support for families, working with them to achieve their goals, providing an advocacy service and connecting families with other local support services.

Leanne Harrison, a fieldworker for Birthright Whanganui, said she loved her job as every day was different and she worked with a great team and lovely families.

Being able to empower families to make better choices was a highlight, she said.

"I work a lot on strength-based so everyone has within them the solution to their problems, so it's about facilitating that lightbulb moment.

"Seeing that lightbulb moment is huge."

Vicki Humphreys, who has been with the organisation for more than six years, said she has never had a day where she has moaned about coming to work.


She said a person may find themself leading a family single-handedly as the result of anything from a tragic accident to domestic violence.

"There's a mystery in, every day, you never know who you're going to meet and have contact with, but I enjoy working with people and being supportive."

Humphreys runs a weekly connect and learn workshop for parents that is tailored to their needs and could include cooking, crafts and car maintenance.

"Isolation's quite a factor for a lot of families when there's only one adult. If you come to connect and learn, you can talk about stuff other than Lego. You can talk about stuff with other adults."

Humphrey also runs a parenting programme that anyone can do even if they are not Birthright clients.

On Tuesdays there is a group for grandparents and extended whānau who may be raising their grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

"We are very aware we have numerous amazing clients raising grandchildren or extended family single-handedly, so the grandmothers or aunties, when they come into a group, their challenges are often different to someone who is raising a family of their own."

Birthright has been located at 244 Victoria Ave for the past 10 years and also provides services in Marton and Waverley.

The 60th anniversary celebrations will be held at 1.30pm-3.30pm on November 2 at the Wanganui Boys and Girls Gym Club.

There will a cake cutting, refreshments and activities for children.

Leading up to the event, there will be a rock hunting competition with rocks scattered throughout the community for children to find.

If anyone finds a white rock with Birthright on it, they can take it to the Birthright office to win an instant prize and go into the draw to win a large goodie box donated by a member of the public.

Allan urges anyone who wants to attend the celebrations to call 06 347 1770.

She said they are always looking for new friends of Birthright and anyone who is interested in joining their board can make contact.