When I read the report from Chair, John Inder, and saw the impressive list of donations from those community-minded organisations and Trusts who support St Marks so generously, I was reminded of Winston Churchill’s saying “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity whereas an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. It cannot be disputed that St Marks has been extremely fortunate in its Managers and pleasing to know that the high level of achievement under Lois is being sustained, albeit modified under Peter’s guiding hand. Ian Cameron - Compiler email@example.com
MESSAGE FROM CHAIR
Since the last newsletter, activity has been intense with our new Manager Peter Rijhnen, getting to know all the staff as well as the complexities of running the charitable business of St Marks. Many changes are happening in the organisation. With his relaxed, smiling, confident manner, it is great to observe that both his peers and the staff are walking alongside him. Already he has taken St Marks into the national news on two occasions. A new Counsellor with a Psychology degree has been appointed which adds to the expertise of the staff. After the review of our treatment programmes in March 2015, which suggested 6 - 8 week programmes, prolonged discussions have occurred with our District Health Board. Peter has made personal visits to most of our referrers and talked with their managers and teams, backed up by careful documentation of how we all see St Marks should function in the future. As a result, relationships with our DHB and the Addiction Service have been enhanced. A revised trial programme started in March this year. It is flexible in length, tailored to the individual needs of our residents and seems to be widely accepted by all involved. We are very appreciative of the many significant donations from our sponsors over the last fifteen months. The major proportion of the donations will be used to finance a Multi-Function room. Once we have resource consent, the building is ready to go. This room will become our major treatment area and will have facilities for lectures and conferences, which we hope to make available to other similar organisations. Additionally it will free up other areas on the campus for redevelopment in the future.
Thank you all again for your continued support.
Sincerely, John Inder Chair
MUSSEL CHAT WITH PETER RIJHNEN
It took the promise of succulent grilled mussels at Havelock’s iconic “Mussel Pot” to lure our new Manager out from his office to answer a few questions. Interspersed with spoonfuls of Mussel Chowder and the munching of mussels on a warm summer day, he turned his mind to the following questions.
What are your goals for St Marks during your first year as Manager? My main focus is looking at all processes, all systems and the development of the new programme. It needs to be evidence-based and for a successful implementation we need to provide our staff with session plans and complimentary handouts (for clients and staff). We need to consider and plan a more multi-cultural approach within the programme to meet the cultural needs of especially our Maori clients. In line with that, we want to improve our resources and staff capabilities thus training for staff is essential. There are a lot of opportunities and one of them is the agreed support from the DHB to provide St Marks staff with some training (pro bono). It is a big job and I am working with the support from all staff to achieve it. As with all changes that are happening at the moment we realise that it will take some time to have it all implemented. Furthermore, we analysed the current use of our facility, which will change when the new multi-function room will be on stream, never a boring moment so far.
What do you see as the strengths of St Marks? The passion the staff have for clients and for the work they do, they just love it. The good mix of people we have here, coming from all walks of life. Some of them know what it is like to be addicted and experiencing the benefits of a healthy life style. Others bring other attributes; they have different qualifications and bring different life and work experiences and personal qualities. I consider where St Marks is situated, in the middle of a community, as strength, also being based in Marlborough; there is no other service like ours. St Marks has a good relationship with most services and neighbours in the area and a good name in the community.
Effective working with your stakeholders is a crucial element for the success of St Marks. Do you bring any innovations in this area? In the near future we are going to work much closer with each other. No matter where the client is from, there will be immediate contact between Clinical staff and client. Referrers and St Marks staff will keep a strong focus on keeping in contact, at all stages - preadmission, during treatment and after treatment. Contact moments (phone, skype, text etc.) will continue with the client after leaving the programme. Regular contact with the funder and referrers is or will be established, with St Marks asking for feedback how we could improve even further.
How did your preconceived perception of St Marks alter after you settled into the job? Working within a residential programme was always something on my bucket list, so it is amazing to tick that off. I came to it with an open mind and realised that although St Marks is a rather small organisation it will have the same aspects. There is HR, clinical aspects, Health and Safety, financial and working with stakeholders etc. It has the same processes to follow as a bigger organisation and so I was not surprised. However, I did not expect the high level of support from the Community. This is overwhelming.
Any final comments? With St Marks situated where it is, people can see that people with addictions are just people. The clients can still be part of the community. Next year we will consolidate on the changes made this year and continue to make things right with an open mind. We will stay open for feedback from clients stakeholders and colleague services/organisations. As a final comment I would like to say “collaboration between all the services is the key for successful outcomes for the clients and our communities”.
Sport Tasman ran the annual Muddy Buddy event at the Havelock estuary on 25th February so that participants could dodge cones, wriggle under the cargo net, stay upright on the slippery slide and wading through thigh deep mud for 1, 2, or 3 kms. St Marks were again invited to act as officials and Jane Miles, the organiser wrote to St Marks:
“Thanks so much for organising the volunteers to assist at our Marlborough Muddy Buddy that was held last weekend. They were great – very obliging, helped drag participants out of the mud and did it with a big cheery smile! Would you please pass on our sincere THANKS to them all – I did introduce myself but things were fairly busy on the day so I was unable to personally thank them all – would you please extend my THANKS to them and tell them we were really pleased with the job they did. Would you also thank Anthea for bringing the volunteers out to Havelock – she was with them all day and gave them great support.”
ST MARKS SUPPORTER'S LUNCH
We are changing the name of the bi-monthly lunch where those people who do so much to help St Marks be the success that it is, can come and share experiences over lunch with clients and staff. Tentatively we are calling it "St Marks Supporter's lunch" but there is a competition for the best name, please let Ali know (firstname.lastname@example.org) of your ideas. The best name, as judged by her and Peter, will receive a chocolate fish. The next lunch will be on Tuesday 4th July at 12:00 am. If you are able to come, please telephone Ali Crossman on 578 0459. (ext 709) or email email@example.com. The next lunch is on Tuesday 4th July so you will need to let Ali know you are coming by 30th June.
DONATIONS TO ST MARKS 2016-217
The table below is an impressive tribute to the generosity of those companies and trusts who have given so much to ensure St Marks continues to develop its amenities and provides the best support to the clients. St Marks is very grateful for their fantastic support.
St Marks is also amazed by the generosity of all those individuals who make donations of time and money.
CHILD’S FORT RAFFLE A FUNDRAISER FOR ST MARKS
In our August newsletter we wrote about a raffle to raise funds to replace worn linen and bedding at St Marks. The Havelock Masonic Lodge raised over $3,000 in sale of raffle tickets. The Toy Fort was won by Waitaria Bay School. The school is situated on the northern side of Kenepuru Sound in the heart of Marlborough and is one of the most isolated schools in New Zealand. It lies two and half hours by road from the closest main town, Blenheim and has 11 pupils. The Master of the Lodge will make the presentation of new bedding and linen to St Marks in May.
The Child’s Fort.
THIS EDITION’S QUOTE
If you love someone, you love them with all their scars, their sadness and their flaws. Heartquotes.Blogspot.com
INTRODUCING REBECCA VAN VELZEN
I joined the St Marks team late in 2016 and would like to thank St Marks for the opportunity to expand my field of professional knowledge. I am a registered Psychologist and have previously worked in Child and Youth Mental Health in outback Queensland. I was born in Blenheim and I am very happy to return here now, re-exploring all the amazing scenery and activities available in Marlborough. I love travel and prior to returning to Blenheim I was backpacking through the America’s for seven months. I prioritize my health and fitness, attending the Cross Fit gym in Blenheim and finding long walks to do on the weekends.
Rebecca Van Velzen
THIS MONTH’S RECIPE: Cucumber relish
With many gardeners “enjoying” a surfeit of late season cucumbers, this seemed an appropriate recipe for the season. 8 cups sliced cucumber ¾ cup of salt 4 medium onions 1 green capsicums (or some prefer 2 red ones) 1 red pepper 1 pint white vinegar 3 cups of sugar ½ tablespoon of mustard seed ½ tablespoon celery seed ½ tablespoon of turmeric Dice cucumber and put in a basin with salt and leave overnight. Drain Slice onions and peppers, mix other ingredients. Add cucumber and bring to boil, BUT do not boil. Thicken with cornflour, about 3 -4 spoons. Bring to boiling point once more. Bottle. With thanks “Dining with Elsie”- Joan Dillon.
I was born in the mid 70’s – addicted to opiates due to my mother’s IV drug use. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old and my mother moved in with her new partner around 1979 – 80. I witnessed a lot of dysfunction and violence as a child and also had violence inflicted on myself as well. I grew up feeling unloved – drugs were more important than I was. I never fitted in at home or at school. I didn’t see my father much in the early 80’s, only a couple of times. Around this time, he was convicted for a bank robbery, went to jail and was not released until 1989. About age 10 I was placed into foster care for 3 years because of the unfit home situation. I had a lot of anger due to the abuse. In hindsight I now know that my parents loved me and they are now dead. My mum would spend a lot of time going in and out of Hillmorton Hospital for long periods and my dad died 5 years ago due to his drug use. I spent over 25 years in addiction and am now over 2 ½ years drug and alcohol free. I could not have done it without St Marks’ support. They allowed me to stay on at the Support House and come off my Suboxone, if this hadn’t happened I would not be where I am now. Being dual-diagnosis can make it hard but I like a challenge. I’m still working on myself by going to meetings, seeing a therapist and a psychologist, always doing my best to improve myself. In saying all this about my life I dealt with a lot of trauma and am still dealing with it but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve met some great people in my life and lost a lot of important friends due to addiction. A lot of my friends are still trapped in addiction, I still love them all.
If you would like to become a friend or volunteer at St Marks and would like more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to make a donation to St Marks either post your cheque with your contact details to the:
ADMINISTRATOR ST MARKS SOCIETY 61 MAIN STREET BLENHEIM
Or if you would prefer to pay by Automatic Payment or Internet Banking our bank details are:
St Marks Society 03 0599 0292678 00. Please insert your name as the reference. A receipt will be issued for all donations and will be emailed to you.
NB. DONATIONS of $5.00 and OVER are TAX DEDUCTIBLE.