At the end of May, we enjoyed a weekend in Wellington attended by 12 of our tweens and teens with an accompanying parent. Many of these teens know each other quite well now as ‘regulars’ at these events, but it’s always nice to have some newbies come along. It was a fairly relaxed, social weekend where we ventured out to play laser tag, bowling, and to visit Te Papa and the Island Bay Marine Education Centre. The tweens and teens also engaged in some social activities on-site, which included getting-to-know each other activities, some group discussion, game playing, movie-time and dancing.
The weekend also provided an important opportunity for parents to discuss common issues, share concerns, talk about transition, and to be able to connect with others who truly understand. The parents were also able to learn more about potential supports, services, opportunities and entitlements as they shared information with each other.
We were very lucky to have John Taylor and France Aziz from Community Connections come to speak with our group about transition and residential care. John is the Executive Director of Community Connections, a member of the National Leadership Group for Enabling Good Lives and on the NZDSN board. France is a Service Lead at CC with a focus on transition and employment. Their presentation was very informative and gave us all plenty to think about when planning ahead for the future. They left us with a better understanding of the opportunities and supports available and what to expect, consider and ask.
We would like to thank John Taylor and France Aziz for volunteering their time, the West Plaza Hotel for hosting our event and providing a deliciously healthy menu, and the Lottery Community Grants Board for partially funding this event.