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Exciting year ahead for Hohepa Canterbury

Exciting year ahead for Hohepa Canterbury
Hohepa Canterbury supports 125 adults with intellectual disabilities from around the South Island.

Hohepa Canterbury is looking forward to an exciting year, as it partners with like-minded people who are keen to support the organisation’s Building a Future at Hohepa campaign to deliver its new homes project.Today Hohepa Canterbury supports 125 adults with intellectual disabilities from around the South Island.

A growing wait list of more than 50 people still seek to live in Hohepa’s homes. “Our kaupapa is to ensure every person we support has the opportunity to have a life fully lived,” says Hohepa Canterbury general manager Arnah Trelease.

“For the people we support, Hohepa is home. It is where they feel safe to build a vision for their life and are empowered to make it happen. This is why we are embarking on a journey to build two new homes at Hohepa Canterbury’s Birchfield Campus.”

Hohepa Canterburyy’s campaign to raise $2.2 million for two new fit-for-purpose houses, each containing a four-bedroom dwelling and an adjoining fully self-contained two-bedroom flat and providing homes for 12 more people with intellectual disabilities, was kick-started by an incredibly generous $500,000 donation from long term Hohepa supporter Sutherland Self Help Trust.

As a result, one of the two new buildings will be named Sutherland House.The fundraising campaign aims to generate all funds for this project by early 2021, for the buildings to be built and occupied later that year. “Now it’s about people who are keen to get on board, partner with us, and deliver the project to get the people we support into their new homes.”

A significant contribution has also come from Christchurch’s Wilson and Hill Architects, with David Hill gifting all of his time to come up with two beautiful new home designs for Hohepa. “And he’s become a huge advocate for us in all of that,” Arnah says.

“He’s brought his own expertise and that of Wilson and Hill behind him, and he’s also really considered what we are about as a community, how we want to be part of the wider community, and he has designed properties which reflect that, which are anchored into the wider campus, built with permanent materials and the needs of the people we support at the forefront.”

Exciting year ahead for Hohepa Canterbury

The two homes will be built on Hohepa’s 2.8 acre campus on Barrington Street. One site has been vacant since suffering lateral spread during the earthquakes, and another acquired post-quake currently houses a beautiful two-storey home, unsuitable for people with disabilities but which Arnah hopes someone will buy and relocate. Hohepa is a provider with a difference.

Its idea of community has people co-located between its two campuses, making them part of a larger community but one where they feel safe and secure enough to get out into the world, then come back to a nurturing environment. Its basis in anthroposophy is hinged on the principles of Rudolf Steiner, which says nobody is disabled in their spirit.

“This cornerstone concept is such a Kiwi thing. We talk about an adventurous spirit, an entrepreneurial spirit, people with a bit of spirit. “All the ways we talk about that sense of spirit are things we really respect.”

Arnah says she is humbled at how quickly and readily people have become excited about the project, come around Hohepa, and are willing and ready to get involved and support Hohepa.

“David Hill is an example. He’s now part of our whanau, part of who we are.”She says Hohepa is now looking to businesses and individuals within the local community who share Hohepa’s idea that home is incredibly important for people, and the foundation from which they can dream big then go out into the world and achieve.

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