What a memorable evening we enjoyed at the Annual Charity Dinner. St Marks is privileged to have the support of Blenheim South Rotary Club and the Convention Centre as well as the many others who made the evening so successful.
Although the final figure from the dinner has not been finalized, the amount that St Marks will receive will greatly assist in funding the new Multifunction room.
Henare O’Keefe QSM was an articulate and informed speaker and his memorable address was greatly appreciated.
Of course, there are many other volunteers who assist at St Marks during the year and two are profiled in this edition.
Ian Cameron - Compiler email@example.com
CHANGE OF BOARD CHAIR
John Inder MNZM stood down as Chair of St Marks Board for personal reasons at this year’s Annual General Meeting, although he is still actively involved in St Marks. Jim Hasseldine, the present Acting Chair was elected into the role.
John was elected as Chair in 2015. Because of his medical background he had a major interest in understanding the nature of addiction and examining the best methods of treatment available.
Jim has served on St Marks Board since 2008. His motivation to join the Board came from a presentation given at Marlborough Girls’ College on the effect of Methamphetamine. Jim is very active in many other community activities.
PETER RIJHNEN'S UPDATE
St Marks has entered into a longer-term contract with Nelson-Marlborough Health (NMH) which is reassuring for St Marks’ longer-term planning. St Marks’ is very grateful to NMH and the Department of Corrections for their continued support.
Mary Ann Surridge replaced Andre Gellatly as Financial Administrator in late October. She will be profiled in a later edition.
New programme content has been developed and is being delivered to the clients. The staff are being supported to be well prepared, and to deliver a consistent and qualitative programme.
St Marks has adopted a Smokefree policy. This change is very positive and both staff and clients are pleased with the transition to be a Smokefree service. Peter acknowledges the great support from the Stop Smoking service in Blenheim. Cynthia de Joux is visiting regularly and supporting clients with education sessions and products to assist quitting.
St Marks has entered into a contract with the Department of Corrections to deliver drink-driving courses for the West Coast and Nelson.
Several of the clients have been helping Kathy Baxter with the gardens at the Hospice.
The refurbishment of the Support House is continuing. The bedroom and bathroom areas are completed, and work is now focused on the kitchen area and living room. The Board are considering the optimum use of this valuable area.
The Board regretted the resignation of their Portfolio Manager Claire McKenzie from NMH. The Board have appreciated the support and advice St Marks has received from Claire.
THIS EDITION’S QUOTE
Happiness can be described in part at least, as the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.
Daily reflections for Highly Effective People. Steven R. Covey.
ROBERT JOHN (BOB) MARKS
The Board, Manager, staff and all at St Marks send their condolences to Christine Marks and her family on Bob’s death (26th November). Bob was a member of Blenheim South Rotary Club and, for many years, had the onerous job of sorting out the finances of the Charity Dinner.
In our last newsletter we celebrated the demolition of the old building and the preparation for the erection of Multi-Function Room. By the time you read this edition, it will be in use, although the official opening will be in February 2018.
INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY
It is hard to imagine how St Marks would operate without its team of faithful volunteers. We feature three of them in this edition. Both volunteers do a variety of tasks, including helping with a variety of administrative duties, transporting clients to appointments, picking up new clients on arrival when this is needed, make up client resource packs and files and much more.
Ann says she volunteers one day a week at St Marks and thoroughly enjoys the relationship she has with both clients and staff. She feels she is very lucky to have this place here in her hometown so likes to give something back to the community.
Ann also assists with internal audits.
Judy says that she has been volunteering at St Marks for more than two years.
She had heard about St Marks but knew very little about what was involved.
Fortunately, the Blenheim South Rotary was invited to a dinner at St Marks and she was able to go. There she met Wayne who told her his story. She was so impressed with the evening that she wanted to be part of St Marks.
Two years later I still love going there. My favourite job is driving the clients to their destinations and chatting with them.
Jenny has been coming along to St Marks for the last 7 years, teaching the clients cooking skills and preparing lunch for the VIP guests.
She says “It's a real thrill to see some of the clients learn new skills and enjoy eating food that perhaps they wouldn't normally try. I try and cook healthy food and love using seasonal vegetables in different ways”.
Her wish for the clients is that they learn a few new skills and when they leave St Marks they cook healthy food as she firmly believes 'we are what we eat'.”
Jenny Fyfe (Left) and Judy Veal receive certificates of appreciation on International Volunteer Day (5th December)
Mix butter and sugar, add 1 egg at a time, add lemon juice, sieve flour and baking powder, add milk. Mix into a creamy paste. Put into a 26cm baking dish.
Peel apples, cut into quarters, make several light cuts in the top of the apple and place into dough, forming a circle. Sprinkle sugar and almonds over the top. Bake at 180-degree C for 40 -50 minutes.
Frank & Tamara Gasteiger “Sounds Delicious” cookbook.
Hello there, my name is Mischa and I am an Alcoholic/Addict living in Recovery today.
I started drinking and smoking cannabis at a very young age and did not stop for the next 25 years of my live. The progression to everyday use and moving up through all types of drugs and the ways of taking them was fast and destructive. I lived to use and used to live.
On May 04th 2016 I came to a breaking point, a place of total despair and seeing clearly that I had a huge substance abuse problem and could not do it anymore, but how?? The first time in my life I admitted that I needed help to find a new way to live. From that moment my life started to change. I arrived at St Marks in June 2016, it was my first ever treatment centre, the first time I knew of this thing called Recovery/a life.
I was so hungry to take everything in, to do life and gave it my all, 110% (just how I had done addiction) I so wanted what I could feel and see was possible from the staff at St Marks who had been addicts and the hope I heard though the 12 step fellowships.
The tools and learning's I received from St Marks and the staff were eye opening, life changing and still to this day 17 months after completing St Marks understanding them more and more. The way it was set up with the programme and classes, I learnt without realizing at the time healthy behaviours, simple responsibility, dealing with conflict in a healthy way, a balance in my life, physically, mentally, emotionally and with family. Setting simple achievable goals and a belief in the fact I was worth this.
Today I am so grateful for the fact a place like St Marks is there for people like me that were just lost and that I was able to have that bed. For what St Marks has taught me and the awareness I have for myself and living with the disease of addiction.
Today I have new teeth, I wake up without the physical pain and mental obsession of craving chemical substances in my body. I have got my license reinstated. I am not with the Department of Corrections after 21 years of breaking the law, I am actually present and actively take part in the life of my two beautiful teenage daughters. Today they have their mother. I am not angry and living on edge 24/7, I am paying my bills and taking responsibility for day to day life and what that entails. I start study at polytechnic next year and Today I smile with pure joy and excitement, I am starting to name my feelings and do life on life's terms. For the first time I feel like I have possibilities, and anything could be achievable.
Today I am Okay and that is something I have never felt.
MESSAGE FROM CURRENT RESIDENTS
“We would like to wish the local community a Christmas based on love & unity, surrounded by family, spirit & warmth.
Thank you for your support and kindness, may your New Year be full of serenity.”
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.