Dear Friends What a rollercoaster of few weeks it has been! Firstly and most excitingly, we acheived our PledgeMe goal and have raised what we needed to fund our new Community Support Worker. We are thrilled to have a full time person on the staff team onboard in this role and relieved to have another team member. Huge thanks to everyone on the team who helped put the campaign together and of course all our fantastic 169 pledgers. The rewards will be sent out soon. Check out the beautiful mountains that Jonelle Jarvis of Mountain Makers fame made especially for us! Such amazing community support.
We were also privileged to be featured on TV1's Good Sorts show last Sunday evening. The short clip has encouraged people to reach out for some support - many, incredibly courageously. Others made contact to offer help with our kaupapa - which was beautiful to see. Above all, we were so inspired by those who had the courage to stand up and speak, on the clip, about their own journey. We need to do all we can to destigmatise the available routes to support when times are tough. Those who were prepared to be caught on camera and to speak up are empowering role-models, we reckon - and we take our hats off to Grace, Pip and Richard in particular Life out on site continues pretty much as normal however. Our Lodge is booked up with Guests who are enjoying the peace out here as well as the well maintained site and of course the fabulous animals. Our newly planted orchard has survived the Summer drought and so far the Winter storms! The vegetable gardens have done sterling work this year - keeping us in kale, silverbeet, lettuces, tomatoes, courgettes, beans and corn! It is so satsifying to pick the evening meal's vegetables minutes before serving them up. If you are handy in the garden we are looking for a small team to oversee the vegetable gardens, please get in touch with Gordon if you can help. firstname.lastname@example.org The recently completed GymCave has been a real hit with Guests. It is fantastic to have a new space to use. Pip, our personal trainer regularly meets with our Guests and encourages their use of the gym equipment and the art area is a very well used and popular part of the Retreat already! We are looking forward to our major training of the year, a Suicide Prevention Workshop - the event, which is kindly sponsored by the Devon Hotel and the Lion Foundation - is fully booked. Not only will we be upskilling our wonderful team of volunteers, but we have been able to open it up to anyone who is interested in hearing from Barry Taylor about how we can all be involved in preventing suicide. We are thrilled by the fantastic response - but not surprised as we already know that Taranaki is a place where people care.
Sometimes people ask us how they can help the work of Taranaki Retreat. Right now there are two ways! We are planning a gardening working bee on Saturday 28th April, 9.30-1pm. We could really use some help with a small project to further improve the beauty of the site. Please RSVP if you can come, so we can ensure good morning tea facilities and plan the jobs :) Also, we have plans brewing to improve our facilities. One of those, is a hope to insulate and line the GymCave to enable us to heat it (especially for art projects) for use over the Winter. If you could help with that project (either funding or hands-on) we would really love to hear from you.
We would like to welcome new subscribers to our regular newsletter - and to thank you for your concern to see a change happen in our country, and for getting behind this community initiative. We are seeing such a difference in the heart of hope of those we're here to work with - and that is a two-way street, for all of us who are involved. You receive back more than you give. The potential ripple-effect of that is massive. Please do feel free to forward on our newsletter to anyone you know who would appreciate hearing about the Retreat.
We see in practice that a single, genuine act of compassion can make such a difference. Combine the acts of compassion of everyone who is subscriber to this newletter, and a ground-swell begins that is going to save lives we will never even know about.
Arohanui Jamie, Suzy and the Trust Board and Team of Taranaki Retreat