The Nelson Fresh Focus committee, from left, Maree Powell, Gareth Parry, Paul Lunberg and Sandy Stephens are looking for more people to join their group. Photo: Kate Russell.

Fresh members needed for focused group


A group that has dedicated 47 years to educating Nelson’s retired population could be forced to close if they don’t find new committee members.

Fresh Focus was formed in 1977 to arrange talks on a wide variety of subjects for retirees who want to find a new interest and keep learning.

And although they have plenty of people wanting to attend, they are struggling to find people to run it.

“We’ve put it out there that we need more volunteers, but so far none have appeared. So, we’re very worried. This very much unique group is in a dire position,” says one of the current committee members, Paul Lunberg.

Paul and fellow member Sandy Stephens are stepping down from the committee at the end of the year and new members are required to keep it running.

Sandy says they average around 70 people at each lecture, with around 90 people on their mailing list.

“What’s different about it is people don’t need to sign up, people can pop along and there’s no formality. We get brilliant speakers – the lectures are of a very high standard and the focus is on intellectual stimulation.”

The group has four lectures coming up, starting on 20 July at the Elim Christian Centre hall, with subjects ranging from the moon, education in 2020 and satellites.

But treasurer Maree Powell says, unless new committee members come forward, these lectures will be the last.

“We need them to come on board now so they can learn the ropes.”

She says there is not a huge time commitment involved with meetings four times a year and a bit of work behind the scenes to find and chase up speakers. They will also need to be internet and email savvy.

Paul says it’s the only group of its kind in the country, and one that is “worth fighting for”.

“But if we cannot find more people to assist in running it, it will have to die.”

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a committee member you can call Paul on 548 7889 or email [email protected]