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Connecting People

Any one of us could be affected by an unexpected illness or injury where Peer and Family Support will be vital to our recovery and well-being .



Peer and Family Support (PFS)  is a positive and empowering network for all whose lives are affected by Spinal Cord Impairment (SCI), whether whānau / family, main support person, caregiver, or the person with the impairment themselves. This service will be provided within a Spinal Unit, continuing through transition into relevant local community and throughout life.

PFS matches people with peers and families who are of similar age, location, gender, and level of injury or type of SCI. The program helps people discover what their possibilities are, and how to reach for them.

Our main objectives :

  • Providing critical emotional support,
  • Providing local and national information and resources to people living with SCI, and their families and caregivers throughout NZ irrelevant of their location.
  • Providing a nationally consistent service
  • Providing all clients with  relevant  and appropriate positive peer support
  • Presenting opportunities for natural connections to be made through  social interactions to promote well-being and to encourage community engagement
  • Creating and maintain a database of positive and productive people who are open to share their experience for the benefit of others
  • Providing a community of information that is both relevant and current that encourages good decisions and promotes self-responsibility
  • Encouraging holistic awareness for all those who are touched by the SCI experience
  • Offering hope at a time when life can be particularly challenging by connecting with others who have been there and are living happy, positive and productive lives

The benefits of Connecting People :

  • Sharing of relevant practical experience  promoting good health and well-being
  • Friendships both local and national via social outings and online networks
  • Growth in  confidence and understanding
  • Improving the experience of recovery and acceptance
  • A sense of community and fellowship
  • Providing empathy , acceptance  and hope
  • Empowering clients and sharing knowledge and experience to encourage  informed choice.
  • Believing that all life has value and is full of potential no matter  what your level of disability .With the right attitude, positive constructive support, almost anything is possible.
  • Sharing with others who understand the journey through lived experience ,really helps to make life less challenging
  • Reducing the length of time it takes to return to a state of relative well-being
  • Promoting development of personal strengths

This service will support families as well as individuals to achieve happy fulfilling, meaningful lives by encouraging holistic well-being. Our aim is that those who are supported will in time  provide support to others . The benefits are great for all involved on many levels.

People with SCI and their families and friends sometimes struggle with the impact it has on their lives.
Connecting with others of similar experiences can provide empathy and hope.
Life still has value and is full of potential. With the right attitude and positive constructive support almost anything is possible.
Sharing with others can help the journey to be a lot less challenging.
This is what Connecting People is all about

What we offer :

We are continuing to build our database of people who have lived with and around SCI, so there is someone ready and willing to support and share no matter where you live.

This can be achieved through a variety of means.

Online via

Recreational Activities

  • Outings
  • Meals
  • Coffee
  • Sport and entertainment
  • Gatherings
  • Women’s and Men’s groups
  • One on one connections

Connecting People aims to develop active networks in each region that will host regular get-together’s and support all newcomers to their area, making them feel welcome and including them in these gatherings.

This service will support families as well as individuals to achieve happy fulfilling, meaningful lives by encouraging holistic well-being. Those that are supported will also be the ones providing support to others in time. The benefits are great for all involved on many levels. An empowering programme designed by the users of the service to support them to live confident, independent meaningful lives.

How you can help

There are many ways to do this.

  • Whether you have a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) or you live around someone who does (family, friends, supporters), you could give your time and be prepared to offer support or answer the occasional question for someone new to life in or around SCI. Connecting with someone, either in person, on the phone or by email, who understands what it is like to be going through the experience can be invaluable
  • Asking when you have questions and sharing when you have the knowledge or experience
  • Participating in get-together’s organised within your region, so we can have a strong information and support network in your area
  • Contributing to chat and discussion on the Connecting People Facebook group
  • Donating to the Connecting People programme to support us to continue to offer support to New Zealanders and their families when someone has a SCI
  • Registering to become a volunteer, offering peer support and your time to help run activities and events in your community

If you are interested in any of the above please contact the Connecting People Coordinator on 03 387 1305 or click here to email Debra Edmonds

I look forward to hearing from you.

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