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Peer and Whānau support

There’s nothing quite like talking with someone who understands what you are going through.

Finding yourself unexpectedly lying in a hospital bed, with a ton of questions in your head ... will I be able to walk? ... work? ... travel? ... be independent? That’s a truly life changing moment.

It can be daunting, overwhelming, frightening – for you and your whanau. It will also be the start of a new journey – a life that is different, but not inherently bad. With support from people who truly understand, someone with a Spinal Cord Impairment (SCI) can learn to meet challenges and embrace new opportunities, participate fully in their community and squeeze every drop out of a life that can be well lived.

Peer and whānau support

Our Peer and Whānau Support team truly understand – they’ve been on their own SCI journeys.

In our team you’ll find someone you can confide in and lean on. Someone with access to a large network of experienced, accomplished, and supportive people to help you navigate the bumpy spinal impairment road.

And because we understand that the person with the SCI has quite a different journey to those living with them, we provide different supports:

Peer Support - Andrew, Brett, Jazz, Josh, Meika and Michele all have their own lived experience in a wheelchair;


Whānau Support - Kim has a lived experience supporting a family member who’s in a wheelchair.

All are based at Burwood Spinal Unit and work closely together to ensure you and your family receive as much support and encouragement and sometimes 'tea and sympathy' as you need to get back on track.

What if I didn’t go through the Burwood Spinal Unit?

If you are transitioning through the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation Unit (ASRU) or live in the Auckland region you will find our colleagues from Spinal Support NZ very helpful.