Mana Re­cov­ery gains na­tional recog­ni­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Mana Re­cov­ery con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength, pick­ing up a pres­ti­gious award for its so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts.

The non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that op­er­ates Trash Palace won the Com­mu­nity Ac­tion for the En­vi­ron­ment – Vol­un­teer & Not-for-Profit sec­tion of the Green Rib­bon Awards, an­nounced at Par­lia­ment on June 9.

Gen­eral man­ager El­iz­a­beth Coluzzi said the award is recog­ni­tion that ‘‘a strong and ded­i­cated team’’ are on the right course – pro­vid­ing a so­cial ser­vice, train­ing and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple with men­tal dis­abil­i­ties and are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Orig­i­nally known as Mana Com­mu­nity En­ter­prises, it was founded in 1996 and has de­vel­oped a range of small ini­tia­tives in part­ner­ships with Porirua City Coun­cil and other lo­cal busi­nesses. There are 50 staff, with half of those hav­ing men­tal health needs.

‘‘What we’re try­ing to do is give them nor­mal skills and re­ally fo­cused train­ing so they can go out and get real jobs even­tu­ally,’’ Ms Coluzzi says. ‘‘They de­velop so­cially, gain skills and work ethics, build con­fi­dence and have the op­por­tu­nity to re­ha­bil­i­tate back into the com­mu­nity. They have a con­sis­tent job. By do­ing the same thing ev­ery day, it means there’s no anx­i­ety or stress.’’

Get­ting the Green Rib­bon Award was ‘‘thrilling’’ and she hopes their model is repli­cated in other parts of the coun­try.

‘‘ It’s fan­tas­tic to be recog­nised for the work ev­ery­one has been do­ing. Ev­ery­one [at Mana Re­cov­ery] wanted to see the cer­tifi­cate and tro­phy and there was a lot of high fives.’’

Ms Coluzzi said there are plans afoot to deal with the surge in e-waste and de­velop more pro­grammes, while ex­pand­ing their site fur­ther is also en­vis­aged.

Lead­ing the way: Mana Re­cov­ery’s gen­eral man­ager El­iz­a­beth Coluzzi, who has a nurs­ing and man­age­ment back­ground, has been in the job 10 months and is de­lighted the or­gan­i­sa­tion has won a pres­ti­gious award.

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