A party put on once again by Cambridge Rotary saw those who are employed or volunteer through Achievement House – as well as staff – welcome the festive season with food platters, a visit from Santa and toe-tapping music by Rotary’s ‘Bruised Brothers’ band.
Cambridge’s Achievement House offers part-time employment and volunteer opportunities for those with disabilities, providing them with occupational and social activities.Most are local, but some come from Hamilton or Te Awamutu.
The December 3 Christmas party marked the end of a particularly stressful year, said Achievement House manager Neil Fynn.
“Covid-19 has meant this has been upsetting and challenging year for a number of people. Prior to lockdown, we were given assurances that the Government would honour the regular contract work we do for them,” he said. “That was a huge relief to us. It meant we could go into lockdown knowing we would be solvent at the end of it.
“However, the lockdown period itself was a very confusing and difficult time for many of those who work through us. Our staff kept in touch with them to check on their mental health and wellbeing, and make sure they were coping OK. When we opened up again, a lot of the industries that rely on us swung back into action. We have a huge diversity of work, which meant we were straight aback into it. The only challenge at that stage was ensuring everyone understood the Covid-19 protocols around social distancing and so on.”
The Rotary band – which comprises Roger Hill, Colin Davies, Greg Gascoigne, Bill Wilson, John Bullick, Chris Crickett and Kim Prichard – helps fundraise for Cambridge Rotary by playing regular gigs. It is current strumming and singing its way through a pretty packed December schedule.