Living Well trust
The Living Well Trust is the public “face” of not just the Baptist Church, but to some degree the “church” generally in Thames, having the support of public agencies such as WINZ, the Police, the Thames-Coromandel District Council, health providers, the Thames Interchurch Council, and others. The mission of the Trust is: “To see that justice is done, to let mercy be our first concern and to humbly obey our God”. (Micah: 6 v8) Its vision is “An accepting and supportive community offering a point of connection for the people of the Thames area, some of whom are marginalized, isolated or excluded”. TBCM has volunteers from the church and general community. It values its “faith based” provision of services, its direct physical connection with the Church by being in the adjacent building, and the involvement of Church members both as trustees and volunteers, and, more recently, key staff.
The Trust operates the 305 drop in which provides free breakfast, tea and coffee Monday to Thursday 9-midday. The pastor is there for spiritual guidance and discussing issues. The Trust administers the Thames Foodbank and refers to the Thames Budget Service and other local agencies for those needing additional support. There is a free weekly community lunch at the church run on a three week roster by The Baptist Church, Equippers Church and the St Francis Catholic Church.
The Trust employs Mike Wilkes and his assistant Samanda Teo to run the Res Kids program in local primary schools, covering the coast and northern Hauraki Plains.
Bethany Plester is the 24/7 youth worker in Thames High School.
The Trust has a relationship with schools and is running a grandparents mentoring kids program in conjunction with those schools.
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Keri Revell is the current Chairperson of the Living Well Trust (formerly the Ebenezer Community Trust) which oversees the community services of Thames Baptist Church. Having raised a family alongside husband Peter, Keri is keen to see families and individuals thrive, especially those who face significant social and financial challenges. Keri has a background in teaching and social work.
Michael Wilkes is passionate about seeing Rangatahi (youth) living life in its fullness. He has worked with youth for over ten years and has a heart to see our young people finding deep and meaningful connection and sense of belonging across generations. Michael runs Res-Kids; an adventure therapy based program, in the local primaryschools.
We have started a 24/7 youth work in the Thames High School - a partnership between the church, the School and the 24/7 organisation. Our youth worker is Bethany Plester and will shortly employ another person to the role as well.
Samanda Teo is a young lady from Malaysia who came to NZ on a YWAM DTS and because of COVID19 could not get home, so she helps us out in 305 and in ResKids
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