An early childhood centre has taken an elderly man in Bellevue under its wing.
Staff, parents and children from ABC Bellevue Montessori have been visiting Cliff Taucher, an ex-caretaker at Otumoetai Primary School, for nearly four weeks, fixing his garden, baking him cookies and lending a general helping hand.
Rico-Zane Kumeroa, left, and Ben O-Regan.
The characters on Cliff’s house makes people stop with their children.
The centre decided it wanted to help the community in some way and Derrin Richards, a parent, suggested 78-year-old Cliff.
Cliff suffers from issues with his kidneys, which restricts what he can do around the house, says Derrin.
“I did overhear him saying it’s a similar kind of thing to Jonah Lomu.”
Cliff is well-known in the community for his home, decorated with colourful characters like Bugs Bunny and SpongeBob, and all the parents and children stop and stare as they go past.
“It’s instantly recognisable,” says Derrin.
Centre manager Michela Homer says it warms her heart to see the children and parents helping someone so much.
“It’s so lovely. I was just so overwhelmed by the way people came together for someone some of them don’t even know.
“We’ve been going with the children to water the garden, pick some weeds - it’s been really amazing.
“He is very ill, but it’s nice that he can sit out there and it’s clean and beautiful.
“He’s such a positive and happy man.”
Michela says the community project has been great for the children, who have loved helping someone in need.
“They love it, the responsibility of it, they take it really seriously.
Michela says the centre will continue to help Cliff as long as he allows them to.