Connecting with others for well-being

By Petrina Wright | Posted: Tuesday February 28, 2023

Older people living on their own in Invercargill can once again connect with others through Enliven’s SupportLink service.

Enliven recently employed Tui-Susan Hill as its new SupportLink Invercargill coordinator.

“I am delighted Tui-Susan has joined the SupportLink team,” Enliven supported living and community services manager Juliana Baxter said.

“It has taken us some time to find the right person for the job and this, coupled with lockdowns and the restrictions on social contact due to COVID-19, has had quite an impact on the SupportLink services we have been able to provide in recent times.

“With Tui-Susan now on board we have an exciting opportunity to reshape and grow our SupportLink offering in Invercargill.”

SupportLink is a free service which links volunteers with older people living in their own homes who would benefit from some companionship.

Juliana said Tui-Susan was already part of the Presbyterian Support Southland (PSS) whānau, currently working part-time for Family Works as a whānau worker, and would continue to do this while also working as the Supportlink co-ordinator.

Tui-Susan will work for Family Works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and for SupportLink on Thursdays and Fridays.

Juliana said it was great to be able to actively support existing team members to extend and grow in their work careers with PSS while also bringing the Enliven and Family Works parts of the business closer together.

Tui-Susan said she was attracted to the SupportLink role because she liked the idea of helping people make connections with others.

Connecting with others was one of the five pillars of mental well-being, she said.

“I want to empower people to help themselves, and I want to make a difference.

“It’s about service.”

As SupportLink coordinator, Tui-Susan’s job involved matching volunteers with older people seeking company and friendship.

She said her prior experience in mentoring.would be useful in training and mentoring the SupportLink volunteers to be effective in their role.

Previously, Tui-Susan had worked for ServiceIQ, Otago/Southland supporting youth to get work-ready.

She had also held a pastoral care role for Workplace Support, an employment assistance programme providing well-being and Employment Assistance Programmes (EAP) services for staff issues.

Tui-Susan is currently working towards a post-graduate certificate in health and safety through the Southern Institute of Technology.

She said this would also complement the SupportLink role by enabling her to look more broadly at the needs of the clients they were supporting, including their physical and mental health and well-being.

As part of the role, Tui-Susan would also conduct assessments for the Total Mobility scheme, administered by the Invercargill City Council.

Total Mobility is a nationwide scheme that provides subsidised transport for people with physical, intellectual, neurological, sensory or psychological impairments.