Community vision at heart of new role
The new chair of the Waimarino Rest Home Trust comes with a wealth of knowledge and a fresh approach.
Deborah Lowen didn’t hesitate when she was asked to take over the reigns from Neil Groombridge.
Relying on her background working with social housing in London in the 1980s Lowen felt it was a good natural fit.
She acknowledged Groombridge’s achievements and said the team wanted to build on that and get the Respite Care programme up and running again.
‘‘Neil left the place in a much better shape than it was.
‘‘The idea is that we would run activities, day care, respite care in the community room for whoever needed it in the area.’’
Four studio apartments, designed for disabled people, was one of Groombridge’s achievements.
Lowen said these are the only residential accommodation for disabled people she knows of in the area.
The trust also manages the rest of the flats on behalf of the Ruapehu District Council.
Tenders are being sought to repaint the flats from ‘‘institutional green’’ to a modern fresh colour.
‘‘We would like to see more of our target group in the flats. At the moment we’ve got a bit of a mixture.’’
At the top of the agenda is getting the Respite Care programme set up including the Waimarino Film Society.
The society plans to start showing films next year at the Rest Home Centre after plans to start this year were delayed.
‘‘We’ll be able to show films at the respite care and then we’ll be able to have evening showings in our own centre for anybody wanting to join so that’s going to be an amazing service for the whole community.
‘‘I don’t think there is another one in the country that will be as tiny as ours. Nobody’s done it in a tiny rural place.’’
Community support will be needed to help the Film Society continue to operate successfully.
Lowen said there is potential for the respite care programme to grow and service other people within the district which is planned for next year.
‘‘One or two afternoons a week people can have a break and we’ll just look after them and entertain them.’’