Civic award to ‘too much’ woman

Bush Telegraph - - NEWS - By STEVE CARLE´

Carolyn Bar­rell from Woodville was recog­nised with a civic award from Tararua District Coun­cil at a func­tion in Pahiatua on Fri­day, Novem­ber 16. A num­ber of speak­ers gave glow­ing ac­counts of Carolyn Bar­rell’s con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity.

Carolyn has been in­volved in or­gan­i­sa­tions in Tararua in­clud­ing Woodville, Dan­nevirke and Pahiatua and she has been ex­cep­tional, said Colleen Cot­ter.

“In 1986 she be­gan her first job at the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare, in the Adop­tions Unit in Palmer­ston North. In 1992 Carolyn was ap­pointed man­ager of the Chil­dren, Young Per­sons and their Fam­i­lies Ser­vice in Master­ton. This po­si­tion was later ex­panded to in­clude the Dan­nevirke of­fice.

“For the next five years she drove from Woodville to Master­ton daily for an 8am start, ex­cept for Thurs­days, when she went to Dan­nevirke. Every Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon she drove from Master­ton to Palmer­ston North for a man­age­ment meet­ing — a lot of trav­el­ling. At this time she was an ac­tive mem­ber of Safer Com­mu­nity Coun­cils in Master­ton, Carter­ton and Tararua, which she chaired in Woodville.

“Carolyn left the man­age­rial po­si­tion with DSW in 2001 and not long af­ter be­came Tararua So­cial En­trepreneur, a po­si­tion she held for three years based at Ran­gi­tane head­quar­ters in Dan­nevirke. Here she un­der­took a sur­vey and com­piled a lo­cal ser­vices map­ping project which showed how few ser­vices there were in South­ern Tararua for chil­dren, young per­sons and their fam­i­lies.

“Carolyn col­lab­o­rated to set up the first Strength­en­ing Fam­i­lies Group, which in­cluded a wide range of in­ter­est­ing and di­verse vol­un­teers. Richard Wood of DSW in Welling­ton was so im­pressed that he used this group as a model and set up 13 other Ru­ral Strength­en­ing Fam­i­lies groups through­out New Zealand.

“In 2003 she fa­cil­i­tated a Pahiatua Com­mu­nity Aware­ness Fo­rum for the Pahiatua Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Trust. She then com­piled a new District Ser­vices Di­rec­tory.

“Carolyn also set up the Heart­lands Cen­tre in Pahiatua, pro­vid­ing work space for DSW, Work and In­come ser­vices, coun­sel­lors and vis­it­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from IRD, Ma¯ ori Af­fairs, IHC and the Wairarapa Com­mu­nity Law Cen­tre. Heart­lands re­mains a vi­tal and busy cen­tre to­day, now in Man­ga­hao Road.

“In early 2006 Carolyn be­came the Health and Well­ness team leader for the Cen­tral PHO in Pahiatua. She had also be­come a trustee on the Pahiatua Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Trust around this time.

In late 2007, as a re­sult of the sur­vey and di­rec­tory she had com­pleted, Carolyn — along with the Trust — was asked by the So­cial Wel­fare Min­istry’s Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice to set up Early Years Hub in Pahiatua.

At that time there were no an­te­na­tal and post-na­tal care classes, no par­ent­ing cour­ses and lit­tle ex­tended care for moth­ers, ba­bies and their fam­i­lies — es­pe­cially ‘at risk’ and vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies.

The Early years Ser­vice would care for chil­dren from con­cep­tion to 16 years of age.

“Un­der Carolyn’s di­rec­tion and with the gen­er­ous hard work from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Health, Ed­u­ca­tion, iwi, DSW, mayor Mau­reen Reynolds and our Trust, the Tararua Early Years Ser­vice (TEYS) was opened with great pride and fan­fare in a new venue in Wake­man Street in May 2008. It be­came a truly com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice, was well used and was vis­ited by nu­mer­ous MPs and a Prime Min­is­ter.

“Carolyn then re­signed as a trustee and ac­cepted the role of man­ager/ ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Pahiatua Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Trust — now in­cor­po­rat­ing TEYS. She re­tired from this po­si­tion in 2017 af­ter al­most 10 years.

“Carolyn, in her many po­si­tions serv­ing our Tararua com­mu­ni­ties, de­liv­ered her tasks with en­ergy, vi­sion, fore­sight and pas­sion and none more so than at the Pahiatua Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Trust. She was in­no­va­tive, creative, skilled at as­sess­ing tasks that needed to be done and en­sur­ing that they were done on time and to a high stan­dard.

“Her net­work­ing and en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills were ex­cep­tional, as were her spe­cial abil­i­ties in pol­icy de­vel­op­ment and busi­ness plan­ning. Her life­time of ser­vice, con­tribut­ing to the well-be­ing, health and hap­pi­ness of so many fam­i­lies in our Tararua District and in Wairarapa, is im­mea­sur­able,” said Colleen Cot­ter.

“You have been the ‘right woman for the job,’” said Diane An­der­son, Board Mem­ber of Mid­cen­tral District Health Board. “You have been a ‘woman be­fore your time’ with your abil­ity to recog­nise need within a com­mu­nity and do some­thing about it. You knew the value of in­te­grated so­cial, health and com­mu­nity well­be­ing ser­vices and pro­vid­ing them

closer to peo­ple’s homes long be­fore the ‘big guys’ in Welling­ton ever thought about it,” she said.

The Too Much Woman by Ev’yan Whit­ney was read out in full by Robin Win­ter from Woodville.

“There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too of­ten, de­sires too much . . .”

An­other ac­co­lade came from So­cial Worker He­lena Glover who had worked un­der Carolyn.

“The mo­ment we met and started getting to know each other, I thought to my­self ‘here’s a cham­pion for the cause, a go-get­ter, a spe­cial lady who has a gen­uine heart, who sup­ported and shared with­out con­di­tions or judge­ments and who had huge knowl­edge about and insight into the so­cial sec­tor and so­cial work pro­fes­sion.’”

The Civic Award evening was in­ter­spersed with singing by San­dra Ri­ley from Woodville with cast mem­bers from the show Bryl­creem, which was writ­ten and di­rected by Carolyn Bar­rel and ran for four and a half weeks in 1986 at the Woodville Lit­tle The­atre.

Mayor Tracey Col­lis presents Carolyn Bar­rell with her Civic Award.

Tararua Safer Com­mu­nity Coun­cil mem­bers met to thrash out their sub­mis­sion on the pro­posed liquor ban in 2005. From left to right, Julie John­son, Jeanne O’Brien, Deb­bie Web­ster, Carolyn Bar­rell, Hiria Tua, and Greg Hud­son.

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