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Lyttelton, portal to Canterbury’s historic past, a vibrant sustainable community creating a living future

Recovery Action Centre

The Lyttelton Recreation Centre on Winchester St is to open as a 'Recovery Action Centre'. This is effective as of Monday 7 March. We have been busy setting this up today and tomorrow we are expecting organisations such as EQC,WINZ, Child Youth and Family, Councelling Services, Insurance Services and Red Cross to operate from here. We are open from 9.00am.

Our Time Bank volunteers will remain coordinating at the front desk and will assist you with these services as well as continuing to assist you with accommodation, meal delivery to the frail and vulnerable, working bees and other stuff that arises.

Another busy day at the Lyttelton Recreation Centre today. A huge thank you to those of you that once again turned up to assist with the busyness of what is the Time Bank based at the Lyttelton Rec Centre, and in particular to those that threw off their PJs and nipped down to the Rec Centre in response to my texts this morning.

And to everyone in this community, there are many individuals and groups behind the scenes pulling together to get this community back on its feet. Someone asked me recently if 'there was a community to come back to?' This comment did throw me for a few minutes, it never even occured to me that this community would not get back on it's feet. Hell Yes! Of course there is a community to come back too. This community of ours has always been strong and resilient. We have always worked hard to create a togetherness in our community. The community spirit remains solid and sound. So take that earthquakes! You will not beat us. Onwards and upwards I say...........!

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South Korea learns from Lyttelton

Marg Korea

When time bank organisers in South Korea heard of a conference being organised to talk about empowering communities in the wake of disaster they suggested Margaret Jefferies be invited to speak on the experiences with disaster in Lyttelton/Christchurch.

The host of the forum was looking for a case where victims actively participated as agents of social reconstruction and healing.
Margaret travelled with Project Lyttelton board member Anne Mackay in November to attend the conference and visit time banks in South Korea.

The conference was hosted by the 4.16 Foundation, and it addressed “Contemplating Victims Rights in a Risk Society”

“The 4.16 Foundation has formed around the Seawol,” Margaret said.

“They wanted to look at “How can we prevent disasters, how can we manage them better?’,” she said.

Many in the audience were families of the children killed in the 2014 Sewol tragedy and were new to the concept and practice of time banking.
The first day was visits to the memorial sites, the second day was the presentations and the third day was questions and answers.
The overloaded South Korean ferry MV Seawol capsized on April 16, 2014 with 476 passengers on board. Three hundred and four people died including 250 children who were out on a school trip.
Many families of victims still feel angry at the inadequate response and lack of accountability on all levels.
Margaret presented a talk, ‘Recent disasters in New Zealand and how we are coping in a humane way’, on the role the Time Bank played in the aftermath of the earthquakes. She also spoke on her work with the Christchurch Muslim community about moving forward together in an empowered way after the March 15 terrorist attack. Read Margaret’s talk here
Margaret said the the people were beautiful and the memorials were very moving.
“There were people from other disasters there too. It sounds heavy but it wasn’t really. It was about seeing patterns and overcoming them,” Margaret said.
Margaret welcomed the interest shown in time banking at the conference.
“It was really good having Anne there too with her legal background, particularly with questions around some of the legal aspects of the disasters,” Margaret said.
The rest of the trip was meeting with people from time banks in Seoul and Gumi.
The time banks in South Korea have been set up to work with specific communities.
In Seoul the church based time bank focuses a lot of its efforts around people with special needs, the church community has also pooled money to buy a house for youth accommodation.
“It’s very practical, big stuff really,” Margaret said.
The time bank in Gumi is associated with a senior club. It’s very active with around 1800 members.
“A scheme in South Korea sees seniors paid for up to 15 hours a month if they want to continue work, and if they do more they can do it through the time bank,” Margaret said.
“It’s really interesting seeing different time banks using the same tools different ways.”