Legacy Centre is a faith-based organisation that was set up to serve those in need in Highbury, Palmerston North and supported by the Catholic Diocese. The centre is situated in the heart of Highbury and they run a number of emergency services that help people who are struggling with the basics of life. They support members of the community to overcome things like broken relationships, unemployment, poverty and those recovering from addiction.

Each year they give away over 12,000 meals, with approximately 5,000 of those given to children. As well as free community meals, they also run men’s and women’s programmes, youth and fitness programmes.  On average each year they house roughly 400 people in temporary and long-term accommodation.

We met the dynamic duo Ariana and Greg who, together with the team of volunteers, are making a real difference at grassroots where it really counts.  They say they will make space for anyone, anytime.  Greg has overcome his own challenges and his energetic enthusiasm is infectious. Greg has had many proud moments working with those who are looking for help.  He says there is a high gang population in the area and talks proudly about helping those that want to leave gangs and change their ways.  Many have left gangs and in August, 2023 two opposing ex-gang members arranged a peace march through the streets of Palmerston North, leaving their gang life and patches behind and having their gang tattoos removed. One of them credits Legacy Centre as his catalyst for change where he says he was accepted with open arms and is determined to show other gang members there is another way.

Legacy Centre has over 170 volunteers and supports up to 3,500 people each year.  We were inspired to meet Ariana and Greg and their amazing team of volunteers who are on the front line really making a difference to help people turn their lives around in Highbury.