Fence of hope inspires
A newly-erected ‘‘ fence of hope’’ will serve to inspire the trainees of Mana Recovery and make it a therapeutic place to work, says the organisation’s project manager.
As part of Volunteer Day on December 3, more than 40 employees from Greenstone Energy ( formerly Shell New Zealand) painted two buildings for Mana Recovery’s horticulture training unit, Vailima, in the old Porirua Hospital grounds.
They also helped construct a ‘‘garden of tranquility’’ and the colourful fence.
Mana Recovery provides training and employment outcomes for people with mental health needs.
Vailima has 20 trainees who provide lawnmowing, section and drain clearing, weed-eating and tree-felling services to the wider community.
More than 100 fence pails were fixed into the ground, before Vailima workers decided on a word for each post, words that meant something to them – such as faith, goodwill, family, brave, aroha, hope and joy – and would give them a lift when they came in and out for work each day.
Trainee Lawrence Holmes said they were firing so many words at the Greenstone volunteers they could barely keep up.
He said it was a good day for everyone involved.
‘‘We were so pleased to have Greenstone provide such enthusiastic volunteers to help us make Vailima a therapeutic place to train and work,’’ said project manager Leanne Pelabon.
‘‘ The two buildings were spruced up with great new colours and it just gives the place a really nice, welcoming feel. The garden will be a place of refuge, respite and regeneration.’’
The Vailima site was once the home of Truby King, the super- intendent of Porirua Hospital for many years and founder of the Plunket Society and the Truby King Gardens.
The home was destroyed by fire more than 15 years ago.
‘‘ Truby was a great community hero and we want to honour him and the great work he had done by making his old homestead beautiful once again,’’ Ms Pelabon said.
Volunteer Wellington, Bunnings Porirua and Resene all helped to make the day a success, she said.
Inspiring words: Mana Recovery trainee Lawrence Holmes in front of the ‘‘fence of hope’’, put in as part of a recent volunteer day. He and other trainees came up with words that would help motivate them for work each day.