A place to meet, in­ter­act and find support

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT / TE PAE WHAKANGAHAU - By PETRICE TAR­RANT

The Toko­roa Ac­tiv­i­ties Cen­tre for the El­derly and Dis­abled has been keep­ing peo­ple ac­tive for 18 years and is still go­ing strong.

Chair­woman Robin Ste­wart said the group, which meets at the Toko­roa Bowl­ing Club, was there solely for support. ‘‘It’s a place where peo­ple who are iso­lated or alone go­ing through health is­sues, old age or dis­abil­ity, can come and meet for so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

Ste­wart was in­volved with the group for 17 years in a man­age­ment ca­pac­ity be­fore suf­fer­ing a stroke.

‘‘In 2013 I had a stroke and I re­alised when I fi­nally got out of hos­pi­tal that I needed to go do so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties to give my hus­band a break.’’

She said there were two main rea­sons the group was still go­ing to­day. The first was for peo­ple to form friend­ships and par­tic­i­pate in ac­tiv­i­ties. The sec­ond was to al­low fam­ily mem­bers and care­givers to have a break. Mem­ber Ian Ste­wart agreed. ‘‘There might be fam­ily mem­bers think­ing, ‘how am I go­ing to cope with this?’ We might be able to help them in some way.’’

The group has its own ve­hi­cle and will­ing driver, solv­ing trans­port is­sues for many in the group.

‘‘Toko­roa is a car­ing com­mu­nity and there’s no need for any­one to be iso­lated at home,’’ she said.

Co­or­di­na­tor Bev Syme, who has 15 years care­giv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in rest homes, said peo­ple need to be mind­ful that dis­abil­ity and health is­sues can strike any­one at any time.

Call Bev on 07 886 4652 for more in­for­ma­tion.

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