Life Unlimited charitable trust in Gisborne moves

4 May 2017 – A charitable trust offering health and disability information, advice and equipment has moved to a new Gisborne base at 105 Disraeli Street.

Life Unlimited, which for many years has been on the corner of Wainui Road and Harris Street, has brought together its store, Hearing Therapy and Needs Assessment Service Coordination staff in one place.

Life Unlimited Enterprise general manager William Hughes said the move for the store was an exciting change, as it would allow equipment and information consultant M-J Bloem to be out in the Gisborne community more.

MJ Bloem discusses a kettle product with Sally Falkner

This has come about because of changes to the way the Life Unlimited Store delivers its information and equipment service so it will free up M-J to take on a more mobile, community-based role.

Mr Hughes said he believed having a more flexible and mobile service would best suit the needs of the people they served in Tairawhiti by making their services more accessible.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our service and better support the needs of people in our local communities.”

The store will open to the public for normal retail hours on two days of the week (Mondays and Wednesdays) or by appointment at other times by phoning 0800 008 011.

Left to Right: Cheryl Scott, M-J Bloem, Tracy Hewson and Petra Crosswell.

Other changes include pop-up shops along the coast from Wairoa to the Cape run by M-J, as well as home demonstrations and equipment trials for people who might not be able to get out to visit the store.

Hearing therapist Cheryl Scott checks Julie Stevenson

Free information workshops and demonstrations to local organisations, community groups and retirement villages will also be available.

 

Life Unlimited Hearing Therapy is a Ministry of Health funded service, which supports New Zealand adults living with hearing loss.

A recent report commissioned by the National Foundation for the Deaf found 18.9 percent of New Zealanders are now living with some form of hearing loss.

That equates to more than 9000 people in Gisborne and the Tairawhiti area.

Life Unlimited Hearing general manager Jessica Lissaman said the impact on people’s lives could be “huge”.

“Hearing loss can be frustrating and lead to social isolation with far-reaching impacts.

“It is not uncommon for hearing loss to cause conflict, frustration or feelings of resentment in relationships.”

Sally Falkner on a Neo mobility scooter with her friend Colleen Bull and M-J Bloem.

A hearing therapist will work with individuals and their family, whanau or partner to evaluate their hearing needs and agree to an action plan to meet their hearing goals, such as to hear better at work or social events, or to improve everyday communication with family.

The Needs Assessment Service Coordination team connects disabled people with the services they need in Gisborne as part of a Ministry of Health contract and is available to people under 65 years old.

The team is able to help people who have a disability due to a physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment.

Call 0800 008 011 to arrange a free appointment with Hearing Therapy or an equipment demonstration from Life Unlimited Store.

An open day on Wednesday May 10 from midday will celebrate the new location of Life Unlimited at 105 Disraeli Street. The first of many art exhibitions will be on the walls in an ongoing partnership with the Tairawhiti Community Arts Trust (T-CAT). The first exhibition will feature works by members of Torea Art Studio, as well as pieces from past members or ongoing work.

T-CAT service manager Angela Hill said this included, ‘Pou Whenua’ (land post), a Maori initiative sculpture project developed by Richard Reedy and aimed to honour the artists emerging from this shared creative space.

There will also be paintings that conveyed artists’ pepeha and kites designed with wheku masks (which denote personal meaning) and were produced to celebrate Matariki (new year).