On Tuesday 18 September, the Tuakau Selwyn Centre farewelled Judy Skinner, their Coordinator for the last 10 years.
The Centre, for isolated and lonely elderly people, based at Tuakau’s St John’s Anglican Church, now has a group of about 20 people.
Sue Morgan will be taking over from Judy and is excited for what’s ahead.
“It’s all been a highlight for me!” said Judy, who is 74 years old. “The whole idea was to reintroduce isolated to the community and bring the community into the group! My aim was to provide a good spring board for the lonely and isolated, because loneliness breeds loneliness. These people have become my good friends. We’ve shared a lot. People have died or gone into permanent
care, it all brings us closer. I’ll miss it.”
Judy said “I moved to Pukekawa and was asked if I was interested in starting a Centre. I’d done that before in Wellington, so I had an idea of what it took, and it went from there.It’s good for everyone to have all different types of people to mix and mingle with.We try get ordinary services in and the day three lovely policemen came in was a real highlight. The group really loved that, it was a real success. Groups like The Living Truck, nurses, fire services, Manukau Health and Age Concern (seminars every term) and Rotary have all been great!”
Judy will spend the next year travelling and then wants to focus on ROW, rehabilitating women coming out of jail. “New Zealand’s a hard place to rehabilitate yourself in, prison leavers need wrap around care! I would like to be a part of that!”
Sue Morgan said “I’m very excited. It’s such a friendly group and it’s really needed in the community. I’ve been working in IHC for 14 years before this. Judy asked if I’d be interested and I thought ‘wow! That’s just so me!’ It’s been very well run by Judy and I have big boots to fill!”
Margaret McCarthy, an 83 year old who’s been coming for about four years now said “I come for the companionship.It’s hard to meet people when you live on your own. Judy’s been excellent! We’re really going to miss her, that’s for sure!”
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9.30 am to 12 pm, the group meets for exercise, morning tea, games and friendship. For more information visit their website at: www.selwynfoundation.org.nz