Jasmine Butcher, aged 19
Attended Centre from 3.5 months until 4 years
Jasmine arrived into the world, 15 weeks before her due date and weighing only 665 grams at birth. Because research shows that children born this early are at a high risk of developmental delays and disabilities, it is important that their growth and development is closely monitored in the early weeks and months and appropriate therapy provided. Jasmine was therefore referred to the Champion Centre where she and her parents received the level support and advice they needed throughout the pre-school years.
The first day Maree and Norm came to the Champion Centre with baby Jasmine, they found it quite daunting. There were a number of therapists asking them various questions. Maree remembers, just thinking, ‘I just want to get through this first year’.
Jasmine had issues with her left arm and benefitted from input from a physiotherapist who, in partnership with her parents, helped maximise Jasmine’s physical potential. This involved a hands-on session with Jasmine and her parents, including discussion and explanation on how to enhance Jasmine’s physical development through play and appropriate functional activities.
Jasmine’s sessions at the Centre involved both group and 1:1 work. Jasmine was particularly keen on using Reader Rabbit®, computer software that teaches basic skills in reading, identifying shapes, matching objects and letters, counting and using a computer mouse. She struggled with matching things such as patterns and pairs. Jasmine attended Bee’s Knees pre-school, where she also had support from an Education Support Worker from the Champion Centre. Jasmine remembers riding a little bike up and down the Centre hallway around the time she ‘graduated’ and headed to school.
From four and a half years of age, Jasmine was progressing really well and presented no major issues. Her parents have noticed however, that Jasmine does appear to pick up trends a year later, such as socialising with her peers. (As it happened, Jasmine’s milestones were also assessed every few years as part a study into the long-term effects of prematurity, led by Dr Lianne Woodward at the University of Canterbury). Maree feels they were always kept up to date on Jasmine’s progress. They attribute the most important thing the Centre gave Jasmine was getting her off to a good start. ‘By the time she started primary school, she hit the ground running and was ahead of other kids,’ says Maree. Maree and Norm made a conscious decision for Jasmine to attend a larger primary school, that way she was encouraged to make friends, especially as she was an only child.
Fast forward 13 years and Jasmine has just finished her first year studying towards a Bachelor of Degree in Music at the University of Canterbury. She also currently sings in the chamber choir. At the end of primary school, Jasmine took a shine to singing and keyboard lessons soon after. She also took up tap and jazz dancing and piano and singing lessons. While a student at Marian College, Jasmine was involved in drama and the school choir. You could say music and performing arts was in her DNA.
Where does Jasmine see herself in five years? ‘Maybe in the States as a musical theatre performer or on Broadway, either that or I’ll still be living at home saving to go flatting,’ says Jasmine.
Sit back, kick off your jandals, grab a chilled soda and a punnet of strawberries and read what's been happening at the Champion Centre.
From us at the Champion Centre
Jan Murphy, our Centre’s Clinical Practice Manager, has been recognised as one of three recipients of the Westfield Local Hero awards, with a $10 000 grant being given to the Champion Centre. Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the outcome of the public vote determining the three successful 2019 nominees for every Westfield centre. As humble as Jan is, this has been a huge leap out of her comfort zone, to be propelled into the limelight, but Jan was aware of the impact a $10 000 donation from Westfield will have on our families and their children.
With many thanks to the Champion Centre community, who placed their votes and helped make a huge difference to the families of the Centre, this will allow us to keep supporting these children to develop through our internationally recognised model of practice. With over 40 years of dedication and experience, Jan’s attributes and experience has shone through and is admired and highly respected by all her colleagues. As part of the first group of therapists, Jan has a wealth of knowledge and experience which she shares willingly. Jan also shows a great deal of care and compassion for her colleagues.
He Says, She Says on 10 August, 2019 at The Piano was an evening of exceptional entertainment!
This year we raised much needed funds for The Champion Centre and the incredible work they do with ticket and raffle proceeds being donated to the Centre.
50 local artists donated their time and talent and performed songs originally written for the opposite gender, accompanied by a band of top musicians.
It’s been a whole lot of fun and a lot of hard work, but after a three month voting campaign, the results are in!
The amazing team at Archibalds Motors embarked on an incredibly generous journey, to celebrate their 100th birthday, by giving back to the community. Where many organisations would traditionally host a big staff or client party, with all the bells and whistles, the team at Archibalds decided they would like to do something different, by celebrating local charities and investing in them, as their centenary gift.
And boy what an amazing ride it’s been! As one of the 10 worthy, charities shortlisted, the Champion Centre has been fortunate to have a chance to be in the running for a portion of this $150,000 gift.
It was a night to remember for the 250+ guests who joined us to celebrate the Champion Centre’s 40th anniversary. Hosted at the Christchurch Art Gallery, Te Puna o Waiwhetū, on Saturday 13 October 2018, the black-tie fundraising gala was an auspicious occasion to celebrate 40 years’ service, supporting infants and young children with disabilities. Hosted by media personality, Mike McRoberts, the evening included decadent food and beverages; a powerful vocal tribute by Naomi Ferguson; reflections from past and present Champion Centre families; speeches and a toast from our founder Dr Patricia Champion and Centre Director Dr Susan Foster- Cohen; an exhilarating live auction, rallied by auctioneer Lisa Yardley; and the launch of a new donor programme ‘Donate the Difference’ which was announced by Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel.