How Our Values and Relationships Make The Loft a Unique Approach to Social Wellbeing

How Our Values and Relationships Make The Loft a Unique Approach to Social Wellbeing

One welcoming door, multiple support options. That is in a nutshell what The Loft is; a place where people can feel safe and supported in opening up and telling their story so that we can connect them to multiple support options to nurture their long-term needs.

As people walk through our front door, it is important that our environment reflects the calm and peace of mind that people are searching for. The energy emitted through a smile and a welcoming hello can be all someone needs to feel like they are in the right place. Our Tautāwhi Manuhiri is instrumental in the manaakitanga of our whare and plays a big part of the first impression people receive as she is the first point of contact. The Tautāwhi Manuhiri makes sure our whaiora are where they need to be, with the people they need to see. Her title in English is Visitor Mentor, as she carefully and metaphorically hand holds them until they are sitting in the chair with the appropriate person.

It's this one door approach that makes The Loft unique with its Social Emergency Response service. We want to remove as many barriers as possible for someone to ask for help, this means only having to disclose their story once to receive support from multiple agencies. A Kaitūhono Hapori (Community Connector) will sit with a tāngata whaiora and listen carefully to their story with no bias or judgement, preserving their mana through the entire interaction. It’s these conversations where we can hear what the person is dealing with but also scratch the surface of the underlying reasons for their situation.

There is no one size fits all approach to what people experience and so it is important for our Kaitūhono Hapori to understand what is really going on so that the whaiora can be referred to the best supports. Our involvement is purposely short term; we address the immediate needs of the person whether that be a listening ear, food, or safety, and then refer them onto a social service agency that can look after them through their longer-term needs. It is with this responsiveness that people leave with a sense of relief knowing that they have been heard, the process is in motion, and things are being actioned. It is a gentle and, as much as possible, seamless experience for the whaiora as they pass through the process.  

An advantage we hold here at The Loft is that we are partners with several social service agencies who are located at our premises. We all benefit through our reciprocal relationships by having readily available access to information and resources that can directly benefit our response to whaiora through efficiency. Whether it be an answered question on the spot rather than through an email or phone call, or the fast-tracked support through a referral process, this is the added value we can offer our whaiora to enhance outcomes. Not to mention it directly benefits all those who work under the one roof as the sharing of information, expertise and kotahitanga enrich our ability to provide a service that is accurate, timely and professional.

It is through this kaupapa, aligned with our values and relationships, that make The Loft a unique approach to social wellbeing. We continue to have a culture of learning so that we can always give our whaiora the best support available. Whether that be through trainings and professional development through to networking in the community and building relationships. The Loft was gifted a whakataukī from Ngai Tahu which represents our work and intentions: Poipoia, tautokotia kia ekea te tihi o oranga. Through nurture and support, you will reach the summit of wellbeing. It is our wish for all those who pass through our door to reach their summit of wellbeing and live a fuller and richer life through the support they are brave enough to ask for.   

Want to know more about the process we take when supporting a whaiora? Click here to find out

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