Lynne Gibson - Workbridge
Lynne is well known to the club (mum of Hayley, wife of Past-President Peter) as was obvious with the many interactions she had with members during fellowship and following the meeting.
Lynne is a recruiter by profession and is currently employed as a Workbridge Consultant.
Workbridge is a NGO, established in 1931 as the Rehab League to look after amputees and burn victims (among other injuries) resulting from the Boer War and World War I. 
Workbridge now supports anyone with a disability (including anxiety, depression etc.) who is not also with ACC. It is the biggest provider of employment services for disabled in New Zealand and offers its services free to its clients (courtesy of a government funding arrangement). Among other things, the job seeker must be between 16 and 64 years of age, have a disability or health issue where the impact is likely to last more than six months and have the willingness, motivation and capacity to work.
Workbridge has 72 staff in 22 offices throughout New Zealand. Lynne’s area extends from Tauranga to Dannevirke with 8 staff in the Hawkes Bay office and 5 in the Bay of Plenty.
Having found them a job that matches their skills, abilities and personality, job seekers are supported in their workplace for up to 12 months. It’s not all done for them however, the job seeker has to demonstrate they are responsible and reliable, able to overcome obstacles that are in their way, make decisions, set future goals, believe there is a job for them, work from a minimum of five hours a week and be open to work trials. Workbridge ‘holds their hand’ to help them achieve these things and knock down barriers such as: access to transport, addictions, criminal convictions, lack of confidence or motivation, arranging childcare, fear of failure, fear of disclosing their disability or health issue to an employer.
To enable all of this to happen, Workbridge is actively engaged with a wide range of organisations; Chambers of Commerce, local government, Māori business networks, Pasifika community, migrant communities, EIT (research projects), Dept of Internal Affairs (Grow Digital initiative), Ministry of Social Development (health contract), schools (transition from school for students with special needs) and secondary/tertiary transition.
As if Lynne hadn’t wowed the meeting enough, she finished her presentation with a number of small prizes and, so as not to overly challenge the assembly, made the challenge easy to meet (“Hands up if you have a name beginning with the letter ‘W’).