Aspiehelp has continued to grow and flourish this year and we have been grateful to receive a generous grant from the Community Trust plus another from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Trust for printing material on Autism and Asperger Syndrome. (The products of our labours appear elsewhere on this site)- they are free to any organisation in Canterbury and at a modest price for other parts of NZ. An order form will be added shortly.
Also available soon will be badges (we have a badge making machine!), Aspiehelp gift boxes, and copies of Emma Goodall's book "Understanding and Facilitating Autistic Potential". This is a stunner and we will be selling it at NZD$45.00 ($5.00 to our funds), plus postage.
Jan and Leith are pleased to announce they now have their first trainee peer-mentor, Zee Davis, who has already done some great work. We have a going number of younger men as members and it is so good to have a male to work with some of them.
We do have a Facebook page (Aspiehelp Christchurch NZ) which carries quite a lot of information about the rebuild of Christchurch, by the way. We are now into our 4th year post EQ and there are many heartening signs of redevelopment. On the other hand, nostalgia and unexpected reasons for grieving our old familiar city ambush us from time to time. Christchurch will be a stunning modern city eventually, but for many of us, we feel it is a "young person's city". We need that energy to drive it forward but some of the inevitable changes are very stressful. The repair of our infrastructure has led to our city being renamed "the city of traffic cones". I believe there are close to half a million of them on our streets. Roughly 60% of the infrastructure still needs work although there has been wide-scale work done continually since Day 1.
One of the unexpected consequences of the EQs has been the lowering of much of the city land, leading to catastrophic flooding in areas which never previously flooded, or not to such levels. This, on top of all the other problems and a City Council running out of money, is causing a lot of strain. For the first time we have many people homeless and unable to access benefits because they "lack a postal address". We have been able to place four Aspies into Council flats so far this year- sometimes we have to be grateful to be under the disability label!
The usual resources for homeless people are full and don't have room for so many other people. Thankfully, volunteers have stepped forward, provided food and clothing, and brought the problem to government notice, so something is finally about to happen.
We now have a new web-master, Chris Wright, so stand by for some changes!