“A society that is good for and to all”
The Disability Resource Centre was started in 1983 (then called Abilities) as a Drop-In Centre in a house offered rent free by the Council, run by volunteers.
In 1984 a member of staff was employed full-time with the establishment of a Disability Equipment and Information Centre. In 1985 the first income-generating activity was a public photocopying service.
With Government assistance funded under the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion (DPEP) Act, in 1986 a sheltered employment workshop was opened in a small building which catered for 10 participants who attended on a daily basis. Staffing increased to a Workshop Manager and 2 Administration staff.
To cope with the increased numbers of people wishing to attend, in 1988 the Centre purchased the Seventh Day Adventist Church and section which was next to the old premises in Nelson Street. This was done with Government and P.S.S.A. financial assistance.
The Church was modified to enable the activities of the sheltered workshop to be performed and as funding became available, modifications were made to better meet the needs of the clients.
With the downturn in business and the economic climate, contracts coming into the workshop lessened. The revenue generated from the Workshop gradually diminished and the services began to focus more on supporting clients to achieve their goals in a variety of life domains. This is being achieved by empowering the individual to develop their own lives through their Individual Vocational Plans.
A major effort was made to start mainstreaming clients into the community. This was achieved through supported employment, encouraging community participation, access to courses in fields of interest and ability and providing identified need programmes within the centre.
The Centre continued to evolve and expand and has been able to meet the trend to more open employment. This has been achieved by designing programmes to teach the necessary skills and developing a Supported Employment Section, Network Personnel.
The Supported Employment Programme was formed to assist people with disabilities to locate employment, plan their careers, access courses or training and to provide ongoing support to ensure the client’s success. It is also a free service to employers which enables businesses to broaden their access to the labour market and thus diversify the workplace.
The Centre established a large section delivering Home Based Support Services, with the focus enabling people with disabilities to live independently in their communities. In end-2008, the Disability Resource Centre purchased an office building in Eastbourne Street Hastings. Renovations to this building were completed by early-2009, after which Home Support H.B. relocated their operations. Home Support ceased operating at the end of September 2013 and was sold to Access Homehealth Limited.
In 2003 the Centre embarked on a pilot project, agreeing to rescind its DPEP Act status, moving away from sheltered work and into full delivery of community participation programmes. In December 2010, this division of the Disability Resource Centre renamed and rebranded itself as Turning Point.
Created in 2007 and self-funded by the Disability Resource Centre (H.B) Trust, the need of providing ongoing support to Clients and their Families/Whanau, was recognised. From this, the role of Family Services Advisor was created, with the intent of working with service users and their families to address issues and assist with finding appropriate agencies/services. This service has had to be suspended due to unavailability of funding.
In 2012, self-funded by the Disability Resource Centre (H.B.) Trust, Scopze was established. Located nearby, was originally set up to provide a more structured quieter environment for clients.
These services enable the Staff at the Disability Resource Centre to take a more holistic approach to best meet the needs of our diverse Client group.