In this issue: Taking Care of Our Elders | Fern Edmonds Memorial Fund | New Year’s Picnic Update

Taking Care of Our Elders

There is no need to be reminded that 2020 has highlighted how vulnerable older people are.

Thanks to the work of a remarkable team of caregivers, the support group plays an important role in keeping our older people safe and healthy in their own homes.

Many of the people in their care have a story to tell of how their carer solved a big problem for them, or went out of their way to be of assistance, or made their routine visit a special occasion – especially for someone living alone.

Anyone who can compare with caregiving services elsewhere, knows that our caregivers are exceptional in the level of service they routinely deliver. So every Christmas we celebrate the 25 or so caregivers working for the Support Group with a big thank you and a token bag of goodies to put under their Christmas tree.

And if you also want to become one of our heroes then don’t wait and give us a call now.

New Year’s Picnic Update

Plans for the Picnic are certainly ramping up and I’m pleased to say I have had lots of stall holders booking in, including 8 food stalls. No-one is planning a good old kiwi BBQ yet, which is a guaranteed hit – so get in touch if that sounds like you.

Helpers needed: I need a few practical people to help me with set-up and a few more on the day for parking cars, selling raffles etc. I have some budget for a few helpers but if you want to support AFSG by volunteering that would be super appreciated too. : )

Either way get in touch on or 021 683 339.

We received a tonne of donations towards the auction and raffle – the overwhelming support from the community really warms my heart – good on you all!

Prizes to look out for include a Milazo 24” bike, a Jumbuck smoker, hammocks, sun umbrella’s, vouchers for a haircut, WOF or massage, several vouchers for meals, accommodation and fuel, return plane and ferry tickets and more!. I will post a full list of prizes and donors in the next Bulletin and on Facebook. A BIG thanks to the 30 donors so far. Verena.

Fern Edmonds Memorial Fund

Main imageFern Edmonds died on 8th October 2019 from suicide. Her parents wanted to set up a fund in her memory for the Great Barrier Island community.  This is to be used to understand good mental health, support people who are struggling and learn how to be stronger when things are going wrong.

The Aotea Family Support Group agreed to act as umbrella and has already received dozens of donations from people who understand the need for better mental health support.

The ideas for how this fund should be used include: 
– Developing a support system that takes into consideration peoples isolation, stress levels, grief, etc. by employing a community support person who could visit people to check how they are;
– Inviting key speakers e.g. Mike King to speak on mental health (including schools);
– Providing better care and support to the caregivers;
– Teaching mindfulness, yoga and meditation in the schools to strengthen good mental health practices. 

This fund will be managed by the Aotea Family Support Group with input from the community and the Aotea Health team.

Do you have ideas? Would you like to contribute? Get in touch or make a donation via Give A Little – search for Fern Edmonds Memorial Fund.

About Us

The Aotea Family Support Group Charitable Trust has been supporting families and the community on Great Barrier Island since 1988.Find out more online:

Stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, @AoteaFamilySupportGroup.

The office is open daily, except Wed, at least from 9 to 1:30.
For general enquiries you can call Sue Thompson on 4290465, or reach Lisa and Rendt directly on 4290 174. Or email:

Community Worker: Kellie Cleave

Kellie Cleave, the Community Worker, is based in the annex of the Aotea Health Centre in Claris, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. On Wednesdays she is at Tryphena or Port Fitzroy on alternating weeks – just call to check.
She can be reached on 4290386 or

Your Mental Health — Essential Contacts

If you want to sit down with a professional and, in confidence, talk through issues you are having to deal with, Cait Devey is an accredited counsellor. Counselling for children and their families is subsidised thanks to the Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki, and the Ministry of Health.   You can call or text Cait on 021 222 6410

More help

Depression helpline: Free call 0800 111 757 or free text 4202

Alcohol Drug Helpline: Free call 0800 787 797 or free text 8681

Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633 or free text 234

Plunketline: Free call 0800 933 922

Just need to talk to someone? Speak to theSamaritanson 0800 72 66 66

Also check out for many other specific counselling needs and support numbers.

But if your needs are more practical – though no less critical – please call one of us at the Support Group and together we are sure to find a solution.

Over 60s Christmas Lunch at Barrier Social Club.

Saturday 19th December at 12:30

Please book by Friday 11th December.

Mains ($12.00)

1.            Champagne ham with a orange mustard glaze

Herb roasted chicken w cranberry stuffing

New season potatoes

Peas and carrots

Gravy, Dinner roll

2.            Mushroom and mozzarella arancini (risotto balls)

Mediterranean roast vege salad

Buffet dinner roll             

Dessert ($5.OO)

1.            Pavlova w whipped cream, fresh fruit salad, vanilla ice cream

2.            Sticky toffee pudding w brandy butterscotch sauce and creamy custard

Your caterer:     Kat and Jonquil Your hostess: Lisa Eves

Bookings: Email, or call 4290 962.

Cancellation: Please, if you miss the cut-off date but still want to attend, or are unable to attend, call Lisa on 4290 174, not the caterer.

Transport: Claris Crossroads 11 am, then pickups along the way.

Looking forward to Seniors Activity 2021

The last Seniors activity of 2020 took place on 27 November, with a delightful lunch hosted by Sue Eves. We’ll start up again in February.

Our work is possible thanks to ongoing financial support from The Aotea/Great Barrier Local Board, Foundation North, and the Lottery Grants Board, as well as others.

Monthly notices and news from the Aotea Family Support Group. This is an electronic version of the A5 folded leaflet delivered to all mail boxes on Great Barrier Island. If you would like to no longer receive this email, simply reply to the sender to say so.