Mission Staff Profiles

Find out a little more about some of The Mission's programmes, services and staff with the profiles below: 

Mission Staff Profile – Tu, Mission for Youth

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What is ‘Mission for Youth’?
Mission for Youth is often a last opportunity for rangatahi (young people), who have disengaged or been excluded from mainstream schooling, to gain secondary school level education.

Who uses it?
Usually our students are 13-16-year-olds who have behavioural, drug and alcohol, or interpersonal relationship issues. Often, while at school they had high truancy rates and dealt with peer pressure.

Why is it valuable?
Not everyone fits into mainstream education, we are able to work to each individual’s personal needs while furthering their education and gaining NCEA credits. This programme helps to create productive and positive lives, and teaches practical life-skills. We are planting a seed in our rangatahis’ minds, which hopefully will grow and change their outlooks – even if not straight away.

How does it work collaboratively with other Mission services?
We receive referrals from Mission for Families, and provide breakfasts and lunches for rangatahi through the Foodbank. We also visit Kemp Home & Hospital, which both our students and Kemp residents enjoy – it’s often a learning experience for both parties. We also try to contribute to Mission activities, for example we labelled all the vests for The Mission’s Street Day collection.

Day-to-day routine?
I prepare the breakfasts and lunches and spend one-on-one time with rangatahi to deal with classroom, behavioural and relationship issues. I provide extra literacy and numeracy support in collaboration with our education officers, and help with CV preparation, health and wellness education and Activity Based Learning.

Any special stories?
Recently a young man came to us with serious anger issues. He struggled initially and soon left the programme, but ended up coming back to us and enrolling in an initiative we had in partnership with Te Wananga o Aotearoa. He worked hard, gained two certificates, and is now in steady employment and a much better place emotionally.

Why is it rewarding?
It’s important for me to make sure that the next generation of kids, who have often faced extreme hardship, are okay. If I can help to turn just one young person’s life around it really means a lot to me.

What’s it like in the Christmas season?
It’s great seeing our students make it through to the end of the year, and we get to reward them for their efforts at our annual prize giving. It is a really positive time for our students and staff, and a nice pay-off for the work we do during the year.


Mission Staff Profile – Annette, Mission for Seniors

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What is our ‘Seniors’ service?
We visit seniors in the community, looking at their social and health needs, and support them to make positive changes. Often there is a strong need for social inclusion. We refer to other agencies such as visiting and telephoning services, take clients to look at potential social groups and assist with their eligibility to attend day-care if they wish.

Who uses it?
Elderly individuals and their families, but we also inter-refer with other agencies - Wesley Care, Age Concern, social and day-care groups, social workers, Hutt Valley DHB, GP’s, outreach nurses, Service Coordination Centre and many more. All of these relationships mean that seniors in the community can get the best outcomes.

Why is it valuable?
There are gaps in the community that we fill with our service. People who access our services experience life changes while with us, and gain interdependence as we introduce them to other agency supports.

How does it work in collaboration with our other services?
We access the Wellington City Mission’s Foodbank and Budget Advice service, including the ‘Total Money Management’ system. We also receive referrals from Mission for Families and our Community Services Advocate. For those who need to go into residential care, we refer to several rest homes and hospitals in the Greater Wellington region, including Kemp Home & Hospital which is a Wellington City Mission facility.

Day-to-day routine? 
I usually visit at least four people each day for an hour or so at a time, and also will do a couple more ‘pop in’ visits which take less time – often to drop off food parcels. At the moment I am delivering Christmas themed parcels – mostly made up of goods donated to The Mission’s Christmas appeal. I also regularly advocate with government departments and community and health services. A lot of it is listening and affirming work, ensuring people find the right solution for their personal situation and in their local community. This always involves providing up-to-date information and education for clients and their whanau, whilst making sure to keep in regular phone contact.

Why is it rewarding?
I enjoy educating people in ways they can enable and help themselves and others – which includes non-clients such as their family, friends and other professionals. The nature of working with seniors means in some cases there can initially be some resistance, until we can build up enough trust and they are ready to accept our help, but it is incredibly rewarding when we break through that barrier and the client becomes much better off.

What’s it like in the Christmas season?
It is hectic, because we visit every client before Christmas to ensure they have everything in place for the holiday season. Services such as day-care and social activity clubs begin to close for the holidays and it can become a difficult time for our clients. On top of that, their regular carers are replaced by relievers. It is nice to reminisce with my clients about the positive changes or good times, but also can be sad reminiscing about the past and perhaps important people that they have lost. Christmas is very much a time of mixed emotions for many seniors.


Mission Staff Profile – Valelia, Kemp Home & Hospital

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What is 'Kemp Home & Hospital'?
Kemp is an 81-bed facility offering both rest home and hospital level care, for residents who require permanent or short-term care.

Who typically moves to Kemp?
Our residents are elderly people who are unable to continue living independently in the community due to health issues. We receive some referrals from Mission for Seniors but mostly people who have lived in Wellington North like to stay in the area, so Kemp is perfect for them.

Why is it valuable?
Kemp has a special feel about it – homely and yet clinically of a very high standard.

How does Kemp work in collaboration with our other services?
We are part of the Mission family and we all work with the same ethos. It’s about sharing information, skills and experience to work towards a community that is empowered, transformed and experiencing fullness of life.

Why is your work rewarding?
I feel very privileged and honoured to be part of a Christian faith-based organisation that provides invaluable services to the wider community, with the focus on assisting people who are at-risk or struggling to achieve quality of life. I am especially proud to be part of an amazing team of Mission staff who are very committed, loyal and dedicated to helping our seniors and their families.

A special story from a resident’s family member.
“My mum had a dense stroke about 2 years ago. In our Samoan culture, the children care for our elderly at home. But being married with 3 young children, all under the age of 10-years, and caring for Mum for two years in our home was hard going. For our family, it was difficult emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. Mum couldn't speak properly because of her stroke but I knew in my heart and in her eyes, she felt she was a burden to us and that was heartbreaking to see. A friend of mine who is a nurse talked to me about putting mum into care and I got very angry with her for suggesting that! I couldn't imagine putting Mum into care, it isn't part of our culture and what would my family think..?

One day my husband came home from work and found me praying and crying. I told him I felt tired and guilty because I wasn't spending a lot of time with our children and all I seemed to be doing was yelling at them because I felt so tired. We sat up nearly all night talking, and two days later I called Kemp and arranged to have a look around. I went home and talked to my mum, she nodded and we both spent the afternoon crying.

Mum passed away two years after going into Kemp. My family and I will always be grateful for the lovely care that the staff gave, but more importantly I got to spend the last years of Mum’s life being her daughter and not her caregiver, and being a mum and wife again to my family.”

What’s it like in the Christmas season?
At Kemp, an annual residents’ Christmas party is celebrated with family and friends. Preparation commences a few months before the big event with our residents spending many hours creating beautiful Christmas decorations to display and Christmas cards (for their families and friends) through Kemp’s Arts & Crafts activity sessions.

The party then kicks off, our residents (most are grandparents) love young children visiting Kemp, and there are smiles all-round. After lunch, our residents and their families retire to the main dining area where they can sit back, relax and enjoy live entertainment filled with singing and dancing from local kapa haka school groups, local Pacific church groups, musicians, and family members who wish to share their singing talent.

What about money? Why do we need funds? 
Mostly Kemp residents receive a government subsidy that pays for the basic care. We need funds in order to pay for, upgrade and replace equipment and commodities we use in their care. End of life care in particular is done very well at Kemp and to do this, supplementary revenue is important.


Mission Staff Profile – Maria, General Manager Operations

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What are The Mission’s key social services?
The Mission’s ‘Community Services’ are grouped into four areas: Mission for Families, Mission for Youth, Mission for Independence and Mission for Seniors. There is also Kemp Home & Hospital in Titahi Bay.

We take a strength-based, holistic approach in our engagement with the people we work with. Some of the support we provide is in response to complex issues or challenges that our people encounter, and more than one of our services may be required accordingly. For example, recently someone came in requesting a food parcel, and after an assessment by one of our staff, it was agreed that our budgeting service and social work support would be helpful in order to work towards sustainable solutions for the person and their family.

There is an emphasis on working in partnership with individuals and/or their families - providing advocacy, social/youth work services, parenting/cooking programmes, budgeting, food parcel support and Alternative Education, among others.

Who typically accesses these services?
We see a broad range of people from a variety of backgrounds, across the lifespan (e.g. families with young children, single adults, teenagers/rangatahi, seniors) who have encountered some sort of difficulty or challenge in their lives. This may include financial stress and debt, social isolation, exclusion from mainstream schooling, parenting and relationship issues and difficulty accessing accommodation and community/agency resources to name a few.

If specialised support is required we can make referrals to, or work collaboratively with other agencies – accessing external services such as addiction/gambling support, relationship counselling, mental health supports and many more.

Why are The Mission’s services valuable?
They are valuable because they contribute to the Greater Wellington community being healthy and resilient. A strong community relies on the well-being of the individuals and families within it. As such, part of The Mission’s role is to engage with some of the most vulnerable community members - providing a place of belonging and supporting them to identify and build on their strengths, and find solutions to the challenges they are dealing with.

How do our services work collaboratively with others?
The Mission sees itself as part of the community – attempting to work in partnership with those in need and other social service agencies. By working collaboratively with community members and other agencies, we are able to contribute to the well-being of around 600 people every day.

Why is working for The Mission rewarding?
I enjoy working for The Mission because each day is different, and the staff and the people we support provide constant inspiration via their incredible ability to rise to the difficult challenges they face. I find the work really rewarding as I see the positive impact on both individuals and families that we work with, which in turn has a positive effect in the Greater Wellington community.