Today we are shining a spotlight on Presbyterian Support Upper South Island (PSUSI), one of our many member organisations. We spoke with Sharaine Steenburg (Manager) about what PSUSI does ...
What does PSUSI do in the community?
We help create a better life for everyone. Our social services help to build safer, stronger, more connected families and communities, including supporting older people to maintain their wellbeing and positive social connections as they age.
Our Marlborough services include: Youth Mentoring, Youth Services, Social Worker in Schools, and Enliven Day Programmes for Older People.
How did you first get involved with the organisation?
When I moved to Blenheim, I was looking around at different organisations to get involved with. PSUSI 'ticked all the boxes' for me in terms of the work they do and the amount of passion they do it with. I couldn't have asked for a better organisation to get involved with.
What has surprised you most about working with PSUSI?
Definitely the amount of people we help and support with the small team we have!
What do you find most challenging about your work and the role of PSUSI in the community?
The challenge that probably most charities struggle with - a lack of funding and volunteers to help everyone in need.
What do you wish other people knew about PSUSI?
A lot of people think we're a church, because of our name.
Presbyterian Support has been present in New Zealand for over a hundred yeard. At a time when basic social welfare systems were not in place, local Presbyterian communities established welfare services to address the desperate need they could see. Our roots might be in the Presbyterian Church, but today we serve a multitude of people from different walks of life and religions. And, with over a hundred years of being in the social welfare system, we have the experience to keep going for the next 100 years.
What do you think / hope will change about PSUSI over the next 5 years?
I hope we can grow our team and services here in Marlborough so we can better serve the community.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with PSUSI?
You're making the best decision of your life!
We would welcome anyone to volunteer with our services and, even though we have a couple of role descriptions, those are only guidelines. We tailor fit our volunteer roles to suit the volunteer, not the other way around. So whoever you are or whatever the skill that you bring to the table, we'll create a spot that's right for you.
What might someone be surprised to know about PSUSI?
When I say we support our community, I mean it! Most people don't know that our members range from the 6 year old boy in our Mentoring programme to the 96 year old lady in our Enliven Day Programme. So the possibilities for volunteers are endless!
What's the best thing to happen since you started working with PSUSI?
As a newbie to Marlborough, it was great to come to PSUSI and meet all the amazing people around. I count myself as one of the luckiest people because I get to work alongside many different people with one thing in comming: a passion for vulnerable people in our community.