Raewyn worked hard all her life – she was once was a jewellery maker, the first woman in Aotearoa New Zealand to enter this then male dominated industry. She owned her own home and things were going well until, through the dishonesty of others, she lost almost everything.
“I never thought that, once I reached my mid-70s, I would be living like I am. I’ve worked hard all my life and had my own house. Now I can barely afford to put food on the table.”
Living in a rental property, Raewyn finds almost all her pension goes towards rent, power, and water. After that there is very little left making it a challenge to survive.
“I found myself in a situation where I would ensure my son had meals but when it came to feeding myself, most days I could only afford breakfast.”
A chance meeting on a bus changed everything. Chatting to a fellow passenger, Raewyn mentioned how tough things were for people like her. The lady agreed
but said she might be able to help. The lady took Raewyn to the Visionwest Pātaka Kai where she was given a box of food to help her out. Then we went into the first Covid lockdown.
Acute osteoarthritis severely limits Raewyn’s mobility; add in a pandemic and accessing food was virtually impossible. Raewyn was struggling again.
This dilemma was solved when she ran into a second person associated with Visionwest who told her that the Pātaka Kai was delivering food to homes during the lockdown.
“We were in pretty dire circumstances by the time I contacted Visionwest, but they were so kind and understanding. By the end of the day, my pantry was full, and I’ve been receiving regular food ever since.”
When asked what Visionwest means to her, Raewyn answers with one word. “Hope! Before I contacted Visionwest, things felt totally hopeless, and I felt like giving in. It’s only because my son relies on me [he is visually impaired] that I kept going.
“Now, thanks to the support from Visionwest, I feel like, for the first time in years,
I have control of my life again.”