Lu was invited to choose an early intervention programme for Alfie, and not really knowing which to choose, opted for The Champion Centre because a friend had worked there and being a service based in the Centre, Lu hoped she would be able to meet other parents in a similar situation and feel less isolated. Her first introduction to the Centre was a visit from Social Worker, Marguerite, and Lu described how “for the first time ever I felt really heard, by someone who understood, cared and wanted to help”.
Lu described how after a few months attending the programme, she started to see the changes and progress Alfie was making with the help of his therapists. She also began to feel like she was surrounded by support and by joining The Champion Centre Facebook group for parents it enabled her to connect with the other families within the Centre in the time between programmes, which was a significantly positive turning point. Members of this group regularly meet up and connect virtually to discuss the challenges of parenting a child with additional needs, without any judgment or bias. While Lu can’t imagine life without Alfie and the joy he brings to her world, it can be exhausting and heart-breaking raising a child with disabilities. Other whānau at the Centre understand that “this is not the life you envision as a parent” and agree with Lu that “it can be difficult”.
The Champion Centre has been a huge supporter of Lu’s goals for Alfie, and the specialists are always available to listen to her concerns. If they are having an off day, the family support team are quick to make her a coffee and provide a listening ear. The therapists are always flexible with Alfie’s needs and if he requires more assistance in a particular programme that day, they adapt to best support Lu and Alfie. The specialists guided Lu with additional notes and resources to help her make progress with Alfie at home, and she loves the variety of the programmes we offer that are unique to the Centre.
The Champion Centre is administered by the Christchurch Early Intervention Trust, and is registered with the Charities Commission (CC22708). Gifts of over $5 are eligible for tax rebates.
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