Spinal Support NZ endeavours to empower and support people with a spinal cord injury or impairment (SCI) to optimise their health and well-being.
To educate and enable people with SCI and their whānau, to access the necessary supports and services to live well and have equal opportunities to participate in the social, economic and cultural life of the community.
- We endeavour to understand, anticipate and respond to the needs and expectations of people with SCI
- We recognise and support the importance of whānau in the rehabilitation, development and ongoing wellness of those with SCI
- We provide information and resources to people in NZ with SCI.
- We provide a team of Peer volunteers and employees to share their experience and knowledge of SCI
- We are committed to honour and develop mutual relationships between the parties of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- We consult and engage with relevant community and government organisations to deliver high quality services.
- We safeguard the privacy of those we support and respect their culture, values and beliefs
- We uphold the highest standards and demonstrate responsible management of our available funds.
A brief history and introduction to Spinal Support NZ
Spinal Support NZ originally TASC was founded in 1991 by a group of high level spinal injured people. TASC gradually evolved into the present organization. Spinal Support NZ and became a registered charity in 2008 (CC23064) and has built up a vast network of volunteers. These volunteers have various experiences and are able to offer moral support, advice and information to patients in the Auckland Rehab Spinal Unit.
Spinal Support NZ covers the same geographical area as the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit, from New Plymouth, Taupo, across to the Eastern Bay of Plenty, up to Cape Reinga.
Spinal Support NZ is governed by a committee. They meet several times each year to advise and give direction to Society.
Hi I am Georgia Cameron, my background for the past thirteen years was working for an organisation called ACC, I had multiple roles over these years the last being working in Assisted Recovery, the best part of this role was being able to help my community in hard times and explaining the next way forward to recovery / independence. My Passion in life is just to be able to help people, when someone is in a sticky situation and we work together to problem solve the joy on their face or in their voice as they know have a better understanding of what is going on is just the best feeling.
I am very honoured to know hold the position at Spinal Support as the Northern Regional Manager, I am so excited to help get our new funded programme Community Peer Support off the ground and launched into our Community, after hearing many stories about clients falling through the gaps my goal is to never let this happen again no matter what level your injury or impairment is at.Please if I can help in anyway let me know as I am here for you and I would like to help you along your journey.
Hi I amYashmeen Johal, for the past 9 years I have been working in the disability sector I have been lucky enough to work with ParafedAuckland and Parafed Shooting Club. During my time at Parafed Auckland I managed their day to day admin, finance along with their funding which I then found a love for coordinating events. When I was living in Clarks Beach I was neighbours with a young man named Grant Sharman, I discovered he was looking for a new Para gun loader, Grant asked me to help him out, due to my nature of course I jump at the chance, during this time Grant and I have built an amazing friendship to the point where we have travelled together and I have now been loading for him for the past 9 years.
I have recently been appointed as the Peer Support Coordinator which I am absolutely thrilled about as now I am able to help our wider SCI community build and connect relationships within their region so everyone knows they have some there to support them along their journey through good and bad times.
If you feel like you need help and support, please reach out to me so I can connect you to someone in your region.
Hi I am John Price. I have been a T4 parapalegic since a ladder fall in 2015. I fully understand the spinal journey myself and look forward to helping and passing on this knowledge to the spinal community.
My working background is sales and marketing. My new part time role is to assist the marketing for Spinal Support NZ
If you have any articles of interest or wish to place an advert in our newsletter ‘The Supporter’ please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Committee Members
Brendan Tourelle has rejoined the Spinal Support NZ committee as our President. He was previously a member starting in 2000 after a ladder fall in 1999 left him a T4 Para. He is also on the Sailability Auckland Committee among many others. Brendan is a very keen sailor, and over the years has instructed many people living with a disability with the skills they need to learn to sail, many starting their sport in the Sailing Simulator with is setup the Spinal unit Gym. In 2012 he joined the Spinal Support NZ Art Class, which he really enjoys.
I am now the Chairperson of Sailability Auckland, The President of The International Hansa Class as well as the NZ Hansa Class Association, Hansa Class is a Yacht Class it is an open class but many people living with a disability enjoy sailing these boats. I’m also on the disability advisory Committee to Yachting New Zealand. I also really enjoy the Spinal Support NZ’s Art Classes which is held on a Tuesday Afternoon. This Art Class is a great initiative which teaches many inspiring Artists the skill they need, it’s great confidence boosted and many of the Artists are learning how to mouth painting, the class has some great camaraderie among the pupils, all help each other. So thank you Spinal Support NZ for being such a positive part of my life.
I’m Richie and I have been in chair since 1999, brought about by a swimming accident in the Mount. I have a passion in painting as it helps me express my inner thoughts and emotions when words aren’t enough to communicate. In 2014, I engaged myself with MFPA association as a mouth painter. This association really helps as it seems to bring and represent our unspoken self – a way of expressing your thoughts, feelings and ideas.
It is somewhat relieving for people like me to develop and pick up ourselves slowly, getting ourselves functioning independently to the most optimum level as we can, and having someone who could understand and empathise with us will give a lifting motivation and so it is what I found in Spinal Support NZ
I had been with this association for 3 years and it is where we extend help with each other to the give out prime support to the betterment of the wheelchair community. After all, being in wheelchair doesn’t validate someone’s worth.
Dean has been involved with Spinal Support NZ since 2004, He won HNZ 2007 Open Garden award. He has been learning website design for some time and offered his help to develop our website.
Dean immigrated from the UK in 1990 had an accident during a fight at home with a friend in 1997 making him a C4 Tetraplegic. He was a supervisor Gardner and volunteer fireman based at West Harbor previously so continued the need to be of some use. He is married to Eleanor and has 2 daughters, they became followers of Jesus in 2004 and hope to be doing His will every day. “Sometime in 2004 Pam Ferguson asked me to help with the Spinal Support NZ website giving me confidence and a purpose so I continued to help nonprofits to get online voluntarily, I now manage a charitable trust that offers nonprofit organizations free website development and coaches the physically and mentally impaired anything using video tutorials see www.itsaccessible.net.nz