Find sup­port, breathe, exhale

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

‘Find sup­port, take a breath and exhale’ is the motto of a new trust aim­ing to help fam­i­lies from the Welling­ton area do just that.

Paul Latham said the chal­lenges fac­ing par­ents and fam­i­lies of spe­cial needs chil­dren was some­thing the com­mu­nity didn’t of­ten see.

‘‘I’m not an ex­pert, but in my hum­ble opin­ion par­ents with spe­cial needs chil­dren be­come more and more in­su­lar.’’

Last year Latham and wife Mandy an­nounced their plan to launch the Ahuru Mowai Char­i­ta­ble Trust to pro­vide sup­port and respite for chil­dren with spe­cial needs.

Now with new trustee Carla Gar­diner on board and their sight firmly set on a prop­erty, the trust will be launched on Au­gust 10.

‘‘We’re look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge be­cause we think it has real sig­nif­i­cance to the com­mu­nity, it will be big­ger than us and big­ger than Porirua,’’ Paul Latham said.

Ahuru Mowai means shel­tered haven or safe place and Latham said it’s ex­actly what they wanted to pro­vide to fam­i­lies from Welling­ton to Kapiti.

‘‘We want to make spa­ces and places that mul­ti­ple peo­ple can use at one time and that fam­i­lies can spend time to­gether in a safe place,’’he said.

For fam­i­lies like his own even find­ing a pic­nic lo­ca­tion for a fam­ily gath­er­ing could be next to im­pos­si­ble.

His son Isaac was di­ag­nosed in 2003 with se­vere autism, ADHD and dys­praxia and was scared of dogs, fas­ci­nated by wa­ter and en­joyed run­ning away from his par­ents.

‘‘We’ve packed up pic­nics and driven to 3 or 4 places to try and find some­where suit­able but ended up hav­ing a pic­nic in the lounge at home.

‘‘Peo­ple should be able to take their kids to a park or for a ride on a train, but we want to give them some op­tions for the days where they might not be feel­ing so brave.’’

‘‘We’re do­ing it be­cause we’ve seen the need for it. We don’t like to say ‘what if’, but some­thing like this would have meant we had places to go as a fam­ily.’’

Ahuru Mowai Trust

The trust­will be of­fi­cially launched on Au­gust 10 at the Light­house Cinema in Pau­ata­hanui, con­tact paul­jan­dal­snz@gmail.com or see their Face­book page face­book.com/ ahu­ru­mowait­rust.

Mandy Latham and son Isaac en­joy some fam­ily time to­gether.

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