Ali Brown recently retired from her role as Catapult’s CEO. We held a farewell party for her at Catapult and were joined by colleagues, friends and Catapult supporters, many of whom had Ali-focused yarns to share. Kev Blogg, Catapult’s founder and patron, was amongst them and commented in his toast to Ali that employing her had proven to be one of the best things he’d done for Catapult.
Why would anyone think about volunteering when paid work is their goal?
When paid employment is the long term goal our advice to do some volunteering isn’t always greeted with enthusiasm, but it should be. It’s a very positive step in several ways: establishing routines; workplace experience, developing skills to fill those blank CV spaces. And, if the work is well done, the potential of a good reference.
All huge positives towards getting paid employment.
It can be awkward: walking through the door into a consultancy reception space for the first time; introducing yourself; sharing the waiting space with strangers. Even at the best of times you can feel uncomfortably exposed. It’s definitely not the best of times when life’s dealt you a doozey, and coping with new situations can seem overwhelming.
We love employers like Craig Freeman, director at Espresso Carwash Café on the corner of Lincoln road and Moorhouse Avenue. He runs a smooth operation and he provides a top notch service but that’s not why we’re full of praise for him. It’s his attitude that we think is brilliant.
A number of people joined us last week in celebrating Kevin Blogg’s second retirement, including Minister for Disability Issues the Hon Nicky Wagner, and Catapult’s CEO, Ali Brown. Kevin has made a major contribution to the disability sector over about 30 years, particularly in the area of employment and acknowledges that starting Catapult is one of his proudest achievements. He will continue his involvement with Catapult as our Patron and supporter. We wish you a very happy retirement Kev and no doubt the Little River community will benefit from your extra free time!
One of Catapult’s trustees, Shane McInroe, has been selected to become part of the co-design group working towards a transformation for the disability support system. Associate Health and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner announced the three month co-design process with the disability sector to begin a nationwide transformation of the disability support system. Minister Wagner says “Input from the disability sector will be vital throughout the transformation process, particularly during the design phase. This change is about ensuring disabled people and their families have greater control over their lives as well as the support they receive from government.” Shane’s extensive knowledge and experience of the disability sector will be invaluable to this working group and we look forward to the outcome.
A friendly canine welcome awaits people when they come into our place in Barrington St. Iwa, (pronounced Ee-waa), a chihuahua, comes to work each day with Vicky, our receptionist/administrator and spends his time keeping staff company as well as providing a friendly distraction for clients. Research is showing that the mere presence of animals helps us to engage with new people and to cope with stress. We have found that a number of clients enjoy Iwa’s presence, and he helps them to relax a little in the stressful time of job search. Iwa seems to enjoy coming to work too, although he does look forward to the weekend, the same way the rest of us do!
CreateIP, a company which provide “intelligent and dependable advice on all matters related to IP”, recently chose Catapult Employment Services to be the recipient of one of their annual donations to charity. Catapult was chosen as the result of our success in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards where we won the Champion Canterbury Business award for the Charity Small Enterprise section. Catapult are delighted with the support from CreateIP and are putting the donation towards the fund we use to assist people with some practical things they require to find paid employment. This could be a Site Safe Certificate, a drivers licence, short-term training such as the certificate of approval for security work, or a bus pass and phone card. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference. Thanks CreateIP!
We’d like to welcome George Gribbin to our team at Catapult. George has taken up the role of lead Employment Counsellor in our Work-Focussed Anxiety Counselling Service after Maree left to increase her private practice. George has experience as a counsellor with anxiety, sexuality, stress and relationships. George previously worked as a high school guidance counsellor and at Youthline as a phone/ text counsellor. George is Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) trained, and is using this to help clients’ better manage their anxiety in relation to employment. George loves his music and has an interest in music therapy, has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education Counselling and is in his final year of a Masters of Counselling.
Catapult are delighted to have won the Champion Charity Small Enterprise Award in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards 2016! We’d like to thank the Business Awards for including a section for charitable organisations, and their recognition that ‘not-for-profit’ organisations do need to make an sustainable income to be able to provide their services. Thank you also to Rātā Foundation and The Press who sponsored this section. Credit for this award must go to both the staff of Catapult, who work incredibly hard to provide employment services to often very vulnerable people, and to the trustees, who generously give their time, guidance and governance. Catapult’s founder and patron, Kevin Blogg, also deserves a great deal of credit for his vision 12 years ago of setting up a supported employment service for people with disabilities. Catapult has worked with hundreds of Canterbury employers over the past few years. We are proud to say that Canterbury has a growing number of employers who see the abilities a person has, rather than any disability, and who employ a diverse range of people in their businesses. We welcome more employers to join with us in helping get Cantabrians into work. The people who come to Catapult for our services put their trust in our ability to provide them with excellent service — this award validates that trust.