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Issue 99, December 2007

Regional News

Auckland/Northland | Wellington | Christchurch
Auckland and Northland News

Calling New Committee Members

The Auckland Committee has switched into high gear and is getting ready for expansion. We are actively recruiting additional Field Officers to serve our ever expanding community and have recently hired a professional fund raiser to help top up our coffers.

We have an energetic and dynamic committee currently, but all of this activity requires more brain power. So we are looking for people, preferably from a business or marketing background, to help roll out our new initiatives and raise the profile of HD within the Auckland and Northland communities.

If interested please give our current Chairperson, Kim Smith, a ring at (09) 915 6700 or email at kim.smith@pobox.com. Time commitments can be minimal, a two hour meeting every six weeks. Alternatively, if you are not interested in becoming a full blown committee member, we are also looking for people to help us on special projects and sub-committees. Any contribution of time is much appreciated.

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Wellington News

(Covering the following Wellington Huntington's Disease Association employee areas: Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Wanganui, Manawatu, Wellington, Wairarapa, and Gisborne).

Annette Turner-Steele - As many of you will be aware I have taken over Carla Perry's Social Work position for the H.D.A and have started working as quickly as I can in getting to meet both clients and their families. For those of you who I haven't met yet I look forward to meeting you very soon. For those of you whom I have met thank you for such a warm welcome into your families and homes.

I have spent many hours getting to know some of my clients and their families/Whanau and look forward to working with everyone in the future.

I have also been visiting rest homes and have plans to do some presentations in the near future in order to regularly educate any new staff members that may have joined the rest homes. A large part of my job is to keep in regular contact with clients and professionals a like on a regular basis. I hope to continue to increase public awareness of Huntington's disease and to increase my participation in service planning meetings for my clients and their families.

Anyone who would like to contact me for support, information, advocacy or even just a friendly chat should do so without concern. I will try to make myself available to you all for meetings, assessments or GP and hospital visits where ever practicably possible.

Tanya Jeffcoat - Kia Ora, I'm Tanya. I am a registered nurse and counsellor with a wealth of experience in community work and very excited and honoured to be starting work with the association. I have recently returned from living and working in Australia with my precious 15 month old daughter and it is wonderful to be home with family. Jane has been a wonderful fountain of knowledge for me and I hope to be able to continue the great work she has done. I look forward to getting to know you all and working alongside the families in Hawkes Bay.

Jane Harkness - It is great to have Tanya working with the Association in her role as educator / advisor in Hawkes Bay. I am sure her experience as a nurse working in the community will be appreciated by families and I hope you all have the chance to meet with her soon. Tanya will continue to provide support, education, advocacy and counselling when requested so please don't hesitate to ring her.

The HD Support group continues to meet regularly and is a wonderful place for talking with others who are in a similar situation.

I would like to thank all the HD families who have shared aspects of their lives with me; it has been a privilege to work with you all. Best wishes.

Gill Fraser - It has been pretty quiet here in Gisborne recently but we are now in the process of arranging an end of year function. We are looking forward to getting together and planning next year.

Lynn Farrow - The association had its AGM in October and was well attended. David Clegg of the Boys and Girls Institute was our guest speaker. David has attended several HD Youth Camps with the association over the years and has become a valuable member of the team. David spoke about adventure based therapy. Thank you to all the families who attended the AGM. It was great to see you all.

The carers coffee group and swimming group will shortly be finishing for the year. They will both continue in the New Year and new comers are always welcome.

As many of you will be aware, I will be leaving my social work position with the association early next year. This was a very difficult decision to make. A new worker Caz Livesley has been appointed and she will start working with me shortly. We will be visiting many of you together in the coming weeks. Caz is very enthusiastic and raring to go. She will introduce herself in the next newsletter.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the families I have worked alongside over the past few years. You have welcomed me into your homes and lives so readily. I have learned so much from you and will miss you. I wish you all the very best.

In the words of Flavin Weedn:
"Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never the same"



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Christchurch News

Seasons Greetings from Christchurch,

As the year winds down we all look forward to relaxing a little over the Christmas period and catching up with family and friends. This gives us the chance also to slow down a little bit and recharge our batteries and have a much needed break.

Christchurch HD Association held a Trivia Night in October which was a huge success. We had record number of teams enter with prizes being donated from friends and businesses. With some well planned fund raising to coincide with this event we had one very dear HD committee member offer to shave off his beard (of 14 years growth) if he got enough in sponsorship and my sister and her work colleague offering to shave off their hair if the money was right. It was thanks to everyone who sponsored these people that the beard and hair between them raised $3400 dollars alone and the Trivia night and raffles raised another $1600 so our total for the night was an amazing $5000.

This was a wonderful way to raise money, as well as everyone having a lot of fun, and us getting the HD message out there in the community, thank you to all our sponsors and committee members who worked so hard for this event, it was wonderful.

Our carers support group had the final meeting for the year at the beginning of November, this group meets every 2 months and we have topical guest speakers along with group discussions and sharing of ideas, worries and stories. The support for each other within this group has become very important to us all and it is thanks to our Field worker Lynne, that this group meet, and provide a very genuine support for each other.

The conference committee is meeting regularly and putting together what looks to be a great weekend for everyone.

We wish you all a very pleasant and safe Christmas and New Year and look forward to 2008 and seeing you all in Christchurch for our conference.

Happy Holidays
Dianne Collins

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