Two organisations that share many values and a vision of enabling people with disabilities and their whānau to have great lives have merged in Hamilton.
McKenzie Centre and Enrich+ celebrated the merger at a launch on May 23 attended by their boards, many of their funders, supporters and staff.
McKenzie Centre will retain its focus on early intervention for children from birth to school age who have a disability or developmental delays, and their families.
Their services include family support, child and parent education, and individualised therapy programmes which develop specific strategies for each child, in partnership with their parents, to address the needs of the child and his/her whānau.
Enrich+ will continue to cater for children with autism from five years of age up, and to support youth and adults with disabilities from age 17 onwards.
Their services include: support to gain and keep employment, support to live independently, such as finding somewhere to live, learning household tasks or paying bills, as well as opportunities for disabled people to be part of their community in all its forms, take part in recreational activities and coaching and mentoring services for people to explore what they want from life and how to work towards achieving these goals.
A member of both the Enrich+ board and McKenzie Centre trust, Maree Haddon, who is also a mum to two boys who have received support from McKenzie Centre spoke at the merger launch. She said Enrich+ and McKenzie Centre are perfectly aligned culturally, with each having passionate staff who are focused on supporting people with disabilities.
"What is exciting about the joining of these two respected organisations is the ability to expand the reach of each service, and the potential to provide a wrap-around service for our children throughout their lives.
As a parent, I am very reassured by the possibility of a service where our children can be supported before school, through their schooling years and all the way through to adulthood," she said.
For Enrich+ and McKenzie Centre, offering families a continuum of services throughout the lifespan of their children will be a key focus of the merger.
For now, it's business as usual for both organisations, and the people they support.
However, Enrich+ and McKenzie Centre retain a keen eye on the future, and the bigger and brighter possibilities their merger presents for the lives of people with disabilities and their whānau.