This month Helene Garland, a Social Worker at the Wellington Hospital, gave a presentation to WGWG regarding the value of Peter Cuthbert Trust gifts that have been granted to the clients she works with. Helene works with clients with HIV/AIDS and reported that she works with approximately 45 clients even though her hours in this role are limited to 10 hours a week. Helene spoke of the multitude of issues that can occur following a diagnosis of HIV / AIDS including disruptions in work and family relationships. She also reported that at times her clients are also coping with other health issues such as hepatitis or cardio-vascular disease.
Helene spoke of the isolation, poor housing and financial issues that some of her clients experience, as well as the physical issues such as fatigue, depression and opportunistic infections. She also talked of the limited assistance that is available through agencies such as WINZ. She sometimes attends WINZ visits and noted that often when grants are made for urgent assistance, these are made recoverable which means that deductions are made from their benefits until the grant is repaid. This is often unaffordable for people on benefits to repay. Helene also talked about confidentiality issues her clients face as some do not feel able to approach agencies.
Helene detailed all the contributions her clients had received from the Trust and how these gifts had helped with essential items such as transport, housing, furniture, childcare or healthcare when non-residents. She spoke of the value of the trust and the delight her clients experienced when their applications were approved.
We thank Helene for her presentation and for her work with her clients and we greatly appreciate the relationship she has built with us for the welfare of people with HIV/AIDs.