Guest Speaker Adrian Gregory was introduced by past DG Grant Spackman.
Adrian immigrated with his wife Ann from the UK in 2012 to work as a consultant in the health sector.
They chose to reside in Otaki because of the lifestyle, climate and community.
Adrian is a past president of the Otaki Rotary Club and is currently Secretary to the 9940 District Board.
Adrian chairs the Lifting the Lid Management Committee which is a collaboration across the four area clubs: Kāpiti, Waikanae, Ōtaki and Levin.
‘Lifting the Lid’ came out of local concern about a ‘cluster’ of youth suicides in the district and a group comprising representatives from the four clubs and the Principals of the colleges and kura in the area collaborated on developing a model based on one working in Australia. The project’s purpose is to “provide funds for colleges and kura in the area so they can source additional or complementary interventions for students who are deemed to be at high risk of suicide, self-harm . . .” Importantly,
Lifting the Lid’ is a community-based project that is intended to complement existing, funded services for college-aged students, not to duplicate or supplant them. Needs are identified by the college/kura counsellor when they determine a student needs immediate support and who should provide that support. The counsellor advises the Principal who applies for funding from the project (based on a maxium of eight sessions at $100 per session).
The management committee has oversight of the application process, the relationships with the colleges and kura, the progess and effectiveness of the project, and its dissemination. At no stage does the committee know who the students are; it is advised only of their age, gender and ethnicity in the application. Initial funding was via a launch event with an auction and has subsequently been supported through a mixture of club donations, personal and business donations, philanthropic donations, gifts and district grants. In the 24 months the project has been operating, the project has approved 22 applications from six colleges on behalf of 20 students. The number of sessions per student ranges from 2 to 8 and the price per session from $50 to $150.
There have been no reports of suicides by students/young people in the time the project has been running. The project has funds to support at least 22 more applications and has submitted requests for Ministry of Health funding and applied for a district grant to build the fund further. Oversight includes a six-monthly Zoom meeting with Principals and the committee is increasing its engagement with the two kura. The project is working alongside funded and NGO mental health providers and, as in the case of the presentation to Greenmeadows, is disseminating the project within District 9940, to other districts and profiling wider.
Building a sustainable fund is a priority. Adrian finished his presentation by challenging Greenmeadows to think seriously about participating in a local instance. He outlined the next steps for us to consider including issues such as whether a trust would be a better vehicle for the project (but noting that his committee hadn’t pursued that option yet)