I went to the historic Avebury House http://www.aveburyhouse.co.nz/ the other day to meet up with volunteers and employees from Dress for Success at one of the catch-ups they hold during the year. I’d been invited for “a chat” to tell them more about Catapult services. Yes a chat – so fitting for the surroundings – and YAY, no whiteboard, graphs, markers, pens, or powerpoint presentation required.
Managing a fluctuating workload has many challenges. Not least of these is finding staff, often at short notice, with the motivation and flexibility to work on a casual basis.Dave is a business data-cabling contractor and often doesn’t know from one month to the next what his work load will be; whether he still has the same pool of casual staff to call on or where his new staff will be found. The stuff of logistical nightmares for some but not so for Dave. He’s managed it long enough to have established systems to bring it all together and that’s where Catapult helps out.
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.
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!