Whangarei woman Lydia Trevena started as a volunteer for Rape Crisis 10 years ago and leaves the organisation this week to take up a role with parent and family counselling service Jigsaw North.
Ms Trevena, now mother to two daughters, was barely out of her teens when she began her volunteer work while studying for a degree in social services, with a major in counselling. Her role with Rape Crisis grew into a part-time paid position as support worker for the centre's Tauiwi, or non-Maori, clients. Her work has included educating volunteers as well as supporting and advising survivors of rape.
She is studying for a post-graduate diploma in human resources and is a provisional member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.
While sad to be leaving the women she has helped train and worked alongside at the Whangarei Rape Crisis Centre, Ms Trevena looks forward to the next stage in her career.
As well as people being able to approach Jigsaw directly, clients are referred from agencies including the Family Court and Manaia PHO.
"With Jigsaw North I will be working with a range of issues through individual to family counselling," Ms Trevena said. "I've enjoyed working solely with women but I'm really looking forward to the diversity the work with Jigsaw will bring. I'll be working with all family members - men and children as well as women - and all forms of abuse within families, but the organisation also provides parenting and child development courses."
Ms Trevena said that, as with Rape Crisis, the immediate emphasis of her work will be on helping people get through trauma and its aftermath.
She will still work with Rape Crisis delivering public educating and volunteer training when called on.