Small steps make big difference in Christchurch street
29 April 2021
Dickson Crescent resident Andrea has always dreamed of having a nice fence like the one she has now.
She says the newly stained fence outside her Kāinga Ora home makes her feel appreciated, and gives her a sense of pride about the property, and the street.
Hers is just one of many freshly stained fences in the Christchurch street, after Tenancy Manager Mel put out the call for help staining. Her call was wholeheartedly answered, with 16 local customers and 14 people from seven agencies coming to help over two days.
It’s all part of Mel’s drive and vision to make this a street where people are proud to live.
“One house at a time, one street at a time, we can make changes to a community,” she says.
In recent months, the street has seen new fencing, letterboxes and gardens, and now, stained fences.
“Fencing helps make people feel safe and secure, and asking people to help paint the fences, we’ve got neighbours meeting neighbours, helping stain each other’s fences, it brings a real sense of pride. We’ve got a customer who only moved in a few days ago out here staining a neighbour’s fence.”
Andrea has lived in Dickson Crescent for 16 years, and says she’s ever so grateful for getting her fence stained.
“It just makes you feel like you’re appreciated, and somebody gives a damn. The inside of my house I make my home, but I have never felt that way about the outside until now. I can’t wait to do my gardens, there’s a sense of pride and purpose to do that now.
“Having the fences up and stained tidies the street up. It’s blown me away having people here doing this for us, it shows random good deeds do happen to you – it’s a great feeling.”
Neighbour Melissa recently had a front fence built on her Kāinga Ora property, and joined people from her community to paint it.
“We had a horrible overgrown hedge here before, it didn’t give my family any privacy, so we used to keep the curtains shut. Now with a fence, it’s definitely more homely and private, and we’ve put a trampoline out front. Having the fence stained just looks so nice, it makes us look like other houses on the street, and that’s a nice feeling. The kids came home yesterday and said ‘Wow Mum, it looks pretty flash!’”.
Carey Ewing from local community trust Te Whare Awhero (Hope House) helped stain fences in the street with three of his colleagues.
“Being here sends a message we are interested in this environment being a good one, being cared for and looked after, and instils a sense of pride that hopefully flows through to people’s sense of wellbeing,” he says.
Page updated: 29 April 2021