Our Stories


MARCH 2017


Next Step Training

It can be very challenging for some of our students to attend their course and be focussed, particularly when there are a range of issues going on for them. One student has no stable accommodation, has poor sight that needs addressing, and does struggle to take their medication regularly. All these factors combine to make it incredibly challenging for this student to be consistently at course and to be in a mental place to be involved in learning. This often requires several support people working together to be able to help a student work through the issues to get to a place where they are able to start achieving their goals. In this case, Pania, the NST co-ordinator, and the Youth Wellness support person are working together with the student making a plan to create stability with the student.


Prison Education - Intensive Literacy & Numeracy

A new student started on both the Step Up and the kitchen programmes. He did okay at school but lost interest when other influences came to bear, but he has been thriving doing the work and is making plans to start his own business with the help of his family when he is released soon. The Mission has been helping him with business plan templates to give him extracurricular reading and writing work as well as setting him up in the frame of mind to take on this challenge. He is also seeing his case manager about a business course after our chats.

One of the students worked really hard in the ILN class so that he would be accepted onto the carpentry course. He had to meet a particular literacy and numeracy level and so was accepted onto the carpentry course. Our tutor met up with the prison carpentry instructor last week and the instructor was keen to let him know how impressed he is with this students work. So impressed that he has invited the tutor to go into the workshop and view the work.


Client Support Service

Sarah, a mother of two, has been working alongside the Mission for three months. During this time Sarah’s client support worker has watched Sarah overcome challenges and build on her confidence as she works towards her goals of re-establishing her life for herself and her children.

When Sarah filled in the Partners for Change Outcome Management System tool at the end of each visit (a tool used by the client support worker to measure growth and change) Sarah’s graph showed she was not doing any better, not experiencing any change. This allowed a discussion with Sarah about how she viewed her progress to date. While the client support worker could see the great progress Sarah was making, Sarah herself when filling in the forms was only focussing on what she hadn’t yet achieved. It highlighted for the client support worker and Sarah how she viewed her situation when she was filling out her PCOMS forms. We were able to highlight to Sarah that while she has things she is still working towards she had accomplished a great deal already. Sarah at this point had a realisation she was looking at things with a ‘glass half empty’ attitude and commented how her Mum is always telling her this was how she looked at things. Sarah was then able to change the way she saw her situation. Since having this discussion Sarah’s PCOMS scores have lifted and although she is still working towards her goals, she is focussing on the positive growth and change she is achieving. Sarah continues to show strength and courage as she works towards her goals.


Oamaru: Independent Advocacy

The Oamaru Police were very interested in the other roles The Mission has within Corrections and asked for a brief rundown of the programmes Joy has been involved with. She spoke about the To Advocate role, Story Book Dads, Skills for Dads, Brief Drink Driving Intervention, and Literacy and Numeracy. The Southern Chief Commissioner was there, he commented that 10 years ago if Joy had been speaking about those programmes to a room full of police the reception she would have received would have been very cold. He was heartened to see his officers showing interest and asking lots of questions. The Commissioner took a To Advocate flyer away with him, stating that he thought it could be a very useful service.

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