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Grant boosts wellbeing of tamariki and mama
Caption: Ebony Sampson in her upgraded bathroom with son Rangiwāhia. A $1000 Whānau Direct grant provided a much-needed boost for the New Plymouth family.
Bathing tamariki is a pleasure in the Sampson household thanks to a Whānau Direct grant that provided a helping hand for a New Plymouth family.
Earlier this year the whānau upgraded their small, inconvenient bathroom in their chilly villa.
“It’s made our family life heaps easier,” says mother-of-two Ebony Sampson, who faced the prospect of getting down on her hands and knees to bathe a newborn in a cold, draughty space.
When the family moved in, the existing bathroom had been updated, about 20 years prior – but it had a shower not a bath; the floor was hard to clean and uneven, and the vanity and toilet were insubstantial.
Ebony and her partner had a four-year-old boy and were expecting child number 2.
“I knew that once I had the baby and he grew out of the baby bath I would have to wash him in the shower tray, which isn’t ideal.
“Buying an older style house has challenges but this was our number one priority,” she says.
The vinyl floor with its industrial “weird rubbery surface” also resisted all attempts at cleanliness despite her efforts.
The family was coping on one income after earlier dealing with financial hardship, and was happy to invest in the bathroom. But saving was going to take some time.
Through Tui Ora, Ebony heard about Whānau Direct. Initially she was unsure about being too public with the family's plight.
"You feel whakama, there are many challenges when renovating a house especially on the family budget, and you don't really want to tell people your bathroom is in a state and ask for help."
But her relationship with Leanne meant she felt reassured about the application process.
Ebony sought quotes for the bathroom hardware and bought items on special at a big chain retailer. The project cost about $2200 with the family paying the extra $1200 for the labour.
“Even now, every day it makes a difference. It sounds simple – giving the kids a bath not a shower – but it’s so much better. It was easier on my back after I gave birth and there’s a feeling of pride about what we have for the kids.”