Welcome to the Christchurch branch
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
If you live in or near Christchurch, please contact us for support, advocacy and information relating to disability. Our services are community based and we have staff providing a variety of services for disabled people and their family and whānau and the wider community.
We offer a range of services for disabled people and their family and whānau including access to our modern well-equipped holiday home in Christchurch and Paroa on the West Coast. All our support services (with the exception of Mobility Parking and Total Mobility) are free.
There are a number of ways you can access them. While some of our services may need a referral and not all the services offered by CCS Disability Action are available from our branch, please get in touch with us directly to discuss your needs and what we can offer you.
You could also contact your GP or Life Links as they can assess your needs and connect you with support providers.
Project SEARCH is a holistic, one year programme that provides young disabled people with the skills they need to enter the workforce with confidence.
Interns are placed within participating workplaces and provided practical hands-on training, education, career development as well as comprehensive support throughout the programme.
In Christchurch the Project SEARCH pilot is hosted by Canterbury District Health Board at Burwood Hospital.
To be eligible to apply, you need to be a disabled person aged 18–21, enrolled at high school or in further education and want to be in paid employment.
Youth and Sibling Groups
CCS Disability Action Christchurch runs groups for disabled young people (with different opportunities depending on age) and their siblings.
Our youth groups are inclusive, friendly and fun and aim to engage, support and offer space, opportunities and pathways to social inclusion. We can work to remove any barriers that you may think will get in your way, including Support Workers, transport or interpreters.
We offer a:
- Sibling Support Group. You can download a flier here (PDF 618KB). This is also available in Word (Doc 101KB).
- Youth Group for people aged 12-17. You can download a flier here (PDF 674KB). This is also available in Word (Doc 102KB).
- 18+ Group for people 18-25. You can download a flier here (PDF 674KB). This is also available in Word (Doc 102KB).
To find out more get in touch with our branch via email or phone (ask to speak to our Youth services team).
We would love to hear from you.
Local Advisory Committee
Our branch is guided by a Local Advisory Committee that is made up of members who provide governance and leadership over our local branch operations.
You can contact Local Advisory Committee Chair Shane McInroe on Governance.CanterburyWestCoast@ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz or phone 03 365 5661.
Local Executive Committee
Our Local Executive Committee is made up of members who provide financial management and oversight at a branch level. You can contact Local Executive Committee Chair Simon Templeton on Governance.CanterburyWestCoast@ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz or phone 03 365 5661.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make a difference as part of our Governance, we would love to hear from you. Email Governance.CanterburyWestCoast@ccsDisabilityAction.org.nz or 03 365 5661.
There are a number of ways you can support our work in communities. If you wish to make a donation or bequest, volunteer your services to our branch, find out about membership, or enquire about becoming a caregiver for us, please visit Support Us or contact our branch directly.
If you'd like to make a donation to the Christchurch branch be sure to select Canterbury & West Coast when you complete the online form and specify Christchurch in the comments section.
CCS Disability Action Canterbury West Coast Annual Report 2020 (PDF 966 KB)
A proud Cantabrian, Canterbury West Coast Local Executive Committee Chair and Board member Simon Templeton calls Ōtautahi home. Simon also serves as the Chief Executive of Age Concern after working as a registered nurse for over 25 years.
It is his passion for seeing all people given the opportunity to live a meaningful life that drew him to governance at CCS Disability Action.
“I was looking for somewhere I could contribute my skills that put people at the front and centre of every decision they make. CCS Disability Action was a perfect fit for these values,” he explains.
It’s an involvement he has relished. “I love being part of this organisation. I love the people, locally and nationally. I love the kaupapa and the strength of disabled people’s voice in shaping our work. It’s great to have a clear sense of purpose – guided by clear strategic directions.”
Simon encourages people – regardless of their work experience – to consider getting involved with CCS Disability Action. “Good governance takes a range of skills and that’s what we have today. We all have different things we can offer, so if you’re thinking about contributing in some way, I’d encourage you to get in touch with your local branch!”
Simon is optimistic about what is ahead for the disability sector. “When we talk about system transformation, it’s important to look at it as a transition not a ‘change’. Change has a start and end point, whereas transition does not. We should be constantly transitioning in order to best serve disabled people, so as long as we’re guided by the people we support good outcomes will follow.”
Christchurch is home for Shane McInroe but the West Coast, where he was born and raised, is where his heart lies. Shane is on the Local Advisory Chair for the Canterbury West Coast branch and proudly identifies as a disabled person.
He has a particular interest in ensuring the needs of people with a learning disability are met, based on his own lived experience.
“I am passionate about disabled people’s rights, particularly in education. It’s important to me to give back as I know many disabled people have to fight to have their voice heard.”
His contributions include working as:
- A member of the high level co design system transformation group.
- President of People First MidSouth Region and President of People First’s local Christchurch group.
- A governance member of the Inclusive Education Action Group.
- Representing people with learning disability on the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) Local and National Leadership groups.
- A board member of Catapult Employment Agency.
- A member of Christchurch City Council’s Disability Advisory Group.
- A collaborator on Christchurch’s Youth Housing Hub.
The resulting experience has given Shane unique insight into the top-level thinking that drives service providers. He believes a collaborative approach between the health, disability and education systems is essential to create an environment where disabled people can have the freedom and flexibility to get on with their lives.
“It’s important that we can make mistakes, take risks and live life to the full as we see it. Working with CCS Disability Action is another important way I can contribute to this vision.”
Mel Smith General Manager Southern Region
My role is to support the running of the six entities in the South Island and to support local leadership to provide quality services to people in urban and rural areas around the island.
My association with CCS Disability Action began in 2000 when I was a student social worker at Otago University. During my placement I recognised how easily my values align with those of CCS Disability Action, and after graduation I joined the Southland branch as a Support Worker and then Community Worker (now Service Coordinator).
To alter my horizons, I moved to Western Australia to work at the Deaf Society, where I ran the employment and community services departments. A qualified sign language interpreter, I never thought when I moved to Australia that I would need to learn another language!
I saw the Team Leader role in Otago advertised in 2009 and came home to take up that position. When the region restructured, I also became Team Leader in Waitaki and later moved into the acting Regional Manager role. In October 2016 I commenced as the General Manager of the new Southern Region.
CCS Disability Action is a family affair for me. My Mum is a Service Coordinator in the Southland branch. I had my son while working as Team Leader in Otago and he came back to work with me at 11 weeks of age. My partner is a researcher at the Donald Beasley Institute and has partnered with us on projects. My stepdaughter is a student at Otago University. My work-home life divide can sometimes be a bit blurry, but I quite like that.