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.
Our cleaner Shane recently celebrated his 21st birthday with us. He was delighted with the driving lessons we gave him but not so fussed on the toiletries! Shane has been cleaning up after us for just over one year and has become a valued team member.
Learning skills to reduce anxiety, increase calm and self-belief are some of the benefits the graduates of our Work Focused Anxiety Counselling are discovering, describing the service as ‘the best thing I’ve done’, ‘enjoyable’, and ‘enlightening.
Thomas (not real name), swearing and cursing, arrived at Catapult very discontented, having had knock back after knock back in his job search. His medical diagnosis of ADHD (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development) was exhibited in his aggressive approach to our service. Thomas was aware of the way his condition affected his behaviour and he suggested he would like a position that would leave him physically and mentally tired at the end of the day. While working with Thomas, we found that he had done some work experience while at school with a Brick and Block laying company. The company was identified and the owner, who remembered Thomas being a good worker, agreed to have a formal interview with him. Thomas started work the very next day and was enrolled to complete a Site Safe Passport. With some support from both the training organisation and Catapult staff, he successfully completed the passport. That was in February 2014. Two years later, in February 2016, all Thomas’s hard work, commitment and reliability paid off and he was rewarded with the offer of an Apprenticeship with his employer. Persistence and patience has paid off for the employer, who now has a valued employee to contribute to his business, and for Thomas, who has a job which he enjoys and a good working future ahead of him.