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Hosts . . . Jono Carter and Elise Blundell welcomed everyone to the first gathering of the Young Newcomers group at Scotts Brewing Co last Friday. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

A young couple who have recently moved to Oamaru are keen to widen their circle of friends while helping others to do likewise.

Elise Blundell and Jono Carter have started a group called Young Newcomers. It is the latest initiative from the Waitaki Newcomers Network, which has already set up successful social groups for new arrivals, overseas immigrants, and mothers and babies.

Network co-ordinator Christine Dorsey said Elise’s offer to host the group was “just what I have been waiting for”. She was aware of the need for such a move and concerned that it was not being met.

Miss Blundell and Mr Carter will be at Scotts Brewing Co near the Oamaru Harbour from 5pm each Friday night. They would love people to join them there and meet others in similar situations.

Miss Blundell, who grew up in Papakaio, returned to the district this year after four years studying to be an acupuncturist, then practising in Whangarei.

Mr Carter has secured a job teaching digital technology at Waitaki Boys’ High School. He has also trained to teach media and drama.

“It can be quite hard to meet people if you’re at work all the time,” Miss Blundell said.

“If we get a good group together, we could do things like ski trips or kayaking in the harbour.”

She will be at Scotts to greet people each week, and in the future she hopes others will be ready to help lead the group.