Mana Re­cov­ery sad to lose funds

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

there have been sur­prises, too?

It’s about time the coun­cil listed all the land and build­ings ratepay­ers own (in­clud­ing those we don’t own, but are re­spon­si­ble for), to­gether with the rev­enue earned from them, re­pairs and main­te­nance spent on them over the last five years, and the value of de­ferred main­te­nance.

If the coun­cil ad­vises that it doesn’t have this in­for­ma­tion, it would merely be con­firm­ing it is not qual­i­fied to own and man­age property on be­half of ratepay­ers.

This coun­cil is so dis­tracted with the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion, a project ad­versely af­fected by ris­ing sea lev­els and tsunami risk, and in which no pri­vate fi­nanciers or in­vestors are in­ter­ested, that our core property and in­fra­struc­ture has been for­got­ten.

Mana Re­cov­ery has pro­vided liv­ing skills and vo­ca­tional train­ing and a day-ac­tiv­ity pro­gramme for people with se­ri­ous men­tal health needs for 18 years for the Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board.

This fund­ing has ceased be­cause the board has con­tracted other non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions to pro­vide dif­fer­ent ser­vices, in line with the new Te Ara Pai model, or Step­ping Stones.

The pro­grammes Mana Re­cov­ery has pro­vided in­clude teach­ing lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy, art and craft classes, cook­ing, bud­get­ing, writ­ing CVs and job prepa­ra­tion.

The prac­ti­cal com­po­nent in­cludes learn­ing the skills of re­cy­cling, such as as­sem­bling can­dles. Can­dles are great for oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy be­cause it teaches con­cen­tra­tion and fine mo­tor skills.

Mana Re­cov­ery’s pro­gramme also teaches work habits, in­clud­ing ar­riv­ing on time and on days they say they will be there and tak­ing breaks only at des­ig­nated break times.

The pro­gramme is in­di­vid­u­ally tai­lored to meet the goals of the trainee. Some may take months or longer to get to this stage.

The most im­por­tant as­pect of the daily ac­tiv­ity is so­cial­i­sa­tion, meet­ing peers, hav­ing sup­port, shar­ing morn­ing tea and a hot kai that we cook to­gether and share each week.

There is no pres­sure to work – it is de­signed to be fun and so­cial.

Those ready and keen for work are en­cour­aged to do a four-week work ex­pe­ri­ence that re­sem­bles a work day. They are given a cer­tifi­cate of achieve­ment and we ac­tively help them look for work in­ter­nally or ex­ter­nally.

We are in­creas­ing our busi­ness re­cy­cling con­tracts to re­place our lost in­come and open new jobs for our trainees. We have just signed a con­tract with Master­pet in Lower Hutt to pick up and re­cy­cle its plas­tic.

Through this we have just pro­vided a new job op­por­tu­nity for one of our trainees who will work 2.5 hours a day, five days a week on full wages.

We also em­ploy our trainees who have suc­cess­fully com­pleted the course – 22 of the 43 staff have come through the pro­gramme.

All em­ploy­ees are on an em­ploy­ment con­tract, on full pay, and many are mem­bers of the union.

Mana Re­cov­ery has al­ways given an at­ten­dance al­lowance for people com­ing to the pro­gramme. This con­tri­bu­tion has been self­funded and not funded through the District Health Board day ac­tiv­ity pro­gramme.

The al­lowance is de­signed to cover travel costs be­cause most of the trainees live in the com­mu­nity and catch pub­lic trans­port.

They are not em­ploy­ees. They come on a vol­un­tary ba­sis and work to­wards be­ing work-ready, if that is their goal.

Some just come for a cuppa or meal, oth­ers to so­cialise. The loss of fund­ing trans­lates to $430,000 per an­num loss of rev­enue for the or­gan­i­sa­tion (20 per cent of to­tal rev­enue).

We are not in a fi­nan­cial po­si­tion to pay the al­lowance be­cause we are no longer run­ning the train­ing pro­gramme.

We have in­vited our trainees to stay on as vol­un­teers if they choose and about 25 have done so. We are cur­rently work­ing to pro­vide a shut­tle ser­vice from Tawa, Can­nons Creek and Ti­tahi Bay, where most of our trainees live, so those who want to come for the so­cial­i­sa­tion and friend­ship can.

Edi­tor’s note: This let­ter was run last week, but an edit­ing er­ror al­tered the mean­ing. Our apolo­gies.

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