Issue 101, June 2008
Auckland and Northland News
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Our family liaison coordinator, Jo Dysart, ran a very successful carers' day last month and we hope to be able to make these a more regular occurrence - Jo received really positive feedback from those who attended. The Auckland caseload continues to grow and we're working hard to find more staff to assist Jo.
Farewell to Kim Smith
Kim Smith, who has been involved with the Auckland HDA for the past four years most recently as our wonderful Chairperson, is moving to Australia. Unfortunately this means that we are losing her from the committee. We thank Kim for all her hard work and enthusiasm and wish her all the best in her new adventure.
During her tenure, Kim brought new ideas and great committee members to HDA Auckland. These are big shoes to fill but I will be giving it my best shot! Now that I've moved to the role of Chair, Ashley Lam, a qualified accountant and fellow committee member, has taken over as Treasurer. We will both be standing for election at the next AGM.
Our AGM will be held on the 28th of June from 1.30pm- 3.30pm at the Royal Oak Disability Resource Centre, 14 Erson Avenue, Royal Oak, Auckland. Details will be mailed out shortly. For further information or to be added to our mailing list, please contact us on 0800 HD AUCK (0800 432 825) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well the drought has broken and the animals are happy!
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The hui/meeting of HD fieldworkers from around the country took place here in March and it was a really enjoyable day. It was great to meet each other and share experiences and ideas so that we can support you the families in the best way possible. Unfortunately we had two last minute cancellations, one for family reasons which we all agree is important, and the other was a 'hitch' in travel arrangements. We all agree that this would be useful to do annually. Maybe in your area next year?
Don't forget to make contact with me if you feel in the need of support - that's what I do.
Phone and email on the back page. I am looking forward to meeting more of you.
(Covering the following Wellington Huntington's Disease Association employee areas:
Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wellington, Wairarapa, and Gisborne).
I have met so many wonderful people and the time is flying by. If I have not had the chance to meet up with you yet, I will make myself known to you over time.
I have chosen to work regular part time hours (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) in order to provide some measure of continuity. I am pretty flexible on these days though and am more than happy to meet up with you during the evening, if this suits you better.
The swimming group continues to meet in the Hutt Valley every second Wednesday. I can vouch for the fact that the water is lovely and warm. If you have HD and live in the Wellington region and would like to come along, please get in touch, it's fun and a good way of exercising.
Carers' Support Group
We meet on a Saturday morning every six to eight weeks and new members are always extremely welcome.
Will take place in November this year. Not too soon after the Christchurch Conference and not too soon before Christmas. Tanya, Annette and I hope to help make it a very enjoyable experience for all those who are able to attend. We will be in touch as soon as details are finalized.
Please feel free to ring and leave a message at any time. Or text me if you prefer. I check my messages frequently, so I will always get back to you as soon as I can. If you prefer to write to me, I will always reply.
New Plymouth, Wanganui and Palmerston North
I have developed a new routine and visit the New Plymouth area every second Monday and Tuesday of the month which seems to be working well. The other weeks are dedicated to Manawatu, Wanganui and Pahiatua.
My social work services will continue to be tailored to suit the needs of each individual. I am available for home visits, telephone and email support or any other enquiries. I regularly visit rest homes to visit clients but also to educate and support staff which I believe is an essential part of my job.
I intend to continue to increase my involvement with other community agencies and promote the Association, and the support it offers to families facing the daily challenges of living with HD.
The annual weekend retreat is currently being organized by Caz, Tanya and I and the date has been decided for 1 and 2 November 2008 and letters will be sent out shortly.
Please feel free to contact me at any time should you require a home visit or any other form of support.
Hawkes Bay News
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Our support group meets every six weeks, rotating around family homes in Napier and Hastings. This is a chance to keep in contact socially and share concerns and issues and laughter. We welcome new families to come along to our relaxing, friendly get-togethers. We alternate Sunday afternoons, and Monday evenings, in this way hoping most people can get along at least some of the time.
Our Hawkes Bay info is now available on the new Enliven Website for those computer-savvy.
I have visited our families in Gisborne during April and very much look forward to supporting them while a local worker is being found.
We begin our planning of the Carers Retreat very soon and hope to see many of you there for our Weekend in Palmerston, probably sometime in October - stay tuned!!!
Please feel free to phone me anytime for information or support.
Our association has been focused over the last few months on the upcoming conference. We started off the New Year with our annual BBQ and get together at Mary and Ashley Gilmore' Home. This is always a nice time to sit round, chat and catch up on everyone's news after the busy Christmas rush.
This has been a busy period with increasing advocacy work, liaising with many other agencies, etc and I have been granted extra work hours which is much appreciated.
Our carers support group continues to meet every two months - it is a friendly enjoyable night with a mixture of social and information sharing.
Many of our young people have benefitted from our "Win a wish" fund with skydiving, massage, movie and coffee outings.
It was great to spend the day in Hamilton with other HD fieldworkers - to share ideas and support each other. The forthcoming HD conference in Christchurch will be a great time for another gathering.
A warm hello from Christchurch - as the weather starts to turn a bit colder and the days are shorter it is a great time to stay home and get all those jobs done that you have been putting off all summer. The Christchurch association is busy with our usual monthly organised outings, meetings, support groups and conference meetings.
The conference is going to be an exciting event in Christchurch and the planning is well along the way and registrations are starting to roll in, so don't forget to get your registration in, everyone welcome.
Easter weekend was enjoyed by about 35 family and friends of two of our younger HD people who through our Win a Wish Fund both did a tandem sky dive on the Sunday. This was a wonderful achievement for these two and the support on the ground from everyone was heart warming. There were a few teary eyes as we watched these two brave girls jump out of the aeroplane and free fall first before gliding down over us for perfect landings. It is times like this that make all that fundraising worth it, as the pleasure that was evident. The opportunity to do these types of activities is quite often restricted by finances and it is great to enable these things to happen while they are still able to enjoy them. We will have footage of this at the conference for you all to see.
As our AGM roles around it is a time that committee members quite often look at the time that they have to commit to holding these positions. I thank everyone who over the years but especially this last year, who have given their time to help, encourage and support others in their walk with HD.
A special thank you goes to Belinda Borst who has served on our committee in different roles for the last 14 years. This has been a huge commitment from her and considering she does not come from an HD family, gave her time and energy to try and make a difference to our small community. She also used her knowledge and experience as a professional to help and encourage families in their walk.
Thank you Belinda for all you have done for our association. I am sure that we will continue to see you at fundraising events.