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 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 the Society.
I have a background in health management and recently commenced as an office manager for Spinal Support nz. I am really enjoying supporting such a dedicated team and we all work together to achieve the same goals …which is improving the life of SCI patients.
We are looking at new initiatives to connect and support our members, especially when they are discharged into the community and feel isolated.
We understand that the road back to independence can be challenging, which is why all of our staff are there to help members navigate their way forward.
Yasmeen has started this year on a part-time basis in the office, working Monday and Wednesdays. Some of you might know her from her previous involvement with Auckland Parafed. Yash is also involved with the Parafed Auckland shooting club as a loader
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 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