The cash-strapped Brain Injury Association Northland is just one month away from closing its doors if it fails to raise much-needed money to support more than 700 clients.
The association receives $1200 every month from the Ministry of Health and is forced to apply for additional funding from the likes of Oxford Trust, Lotteries Commission, and the Lions Foundation to help pay for expenses.
The organisation is paying two part-time Northland liaison officers, Vikki Herdman and Dave Wright, who cover 736 registered clients from Wellsford to Cape Reinga.
Both usually work 30 hours a week but have been asked to do 15 hours and the association cannot afford to hire an administrative assistant.
The association provides a safe, barrier-free service to support and help people understand and navigate through the confusing aftermath of a brain injury. This includes the individual and family.
Interim chairwoman Jeanette Brock said at least $6000 was needed per month to stay afloat.
"If we don't get any funding, we'll have to close at the end of August. There's enough for now, even though we haven't had funds of any substantial amount come in," Brock said.
The association was forced to cancel a fundraising dinner and dance planned for late this year due to insufficient funds and Brock said the event had the potential to raise a healthy sum of money. Last year's event raised $15,000.
The association last ran out of funds in 2009 — forcing a part-time employee to look for work elsewhere.
Brock said the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) used to contribute $6000 a year but that stopped in 2009 and since then, the association hoped to get enough from charities to get through on a month-by-month basis.
A Givealittle page has also been set up.
Brock said despite the association working with clients of ACC, Corrections and other organisations, it didn't receive any funding from them.
Brain injury is often called the "silent epidemic" and referred to as a "hidden injury" as more often than not there are no outwardly visible changes to a person after a brain injury.
It is reported that a person receives a brain injury every 15 minutes. The injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in New Zealand and can have life-changing results for both the injured person and their family/whānau.
Those wishing to donate can do so via Givealittle page or deposit money into the association's account 12-3093-0207556-00.