May 2023 | Connect

May 2023 – Connect Rua

Kia ora and welcome to the second pānui of 2023!

In this issue I am happy to introduce our two newest team members, Mai Christeller and Mike Jillings, who are focusing their efforts on supporting our Hutt Valley clients. In the short time they have been with us I have been impressed with their professionalism and their contribution to our team.

And, talking about our team, I am thrilled to be sharing with you the hidden talent of our office manager, Kristen Phillips, who has written a book that is soon to be published – this is a huge achievement. We are all so proud of ‘our Kristen’ and can’t wait for the book launch in July.

As we rebuild and reconnect after Covid, we are now in a position to increase our volunteer base. We have some long-standing volunteers, particularly in Kāpiti, and we are looking to lighten their load a bit as well as growing the volunteer support for our dementia advisors working in other areas. We value the work of our current volunteers and appreciate their commitment and contribution to our services – thank you!

Ngā mihi mahana

Anne Schumacher, Chief Executive

Introducing our Hutt Dementia Advisors

Mike is a counsellor with over 15 years’ experience of work in New Zealand and Australia with those who have experienced interpersonal trauma.

Mike comes with lived experience of dementia within his own family and experiences of the stress and grief this can cause.

Mike is passionate about offering assistance to further enable people to live their best life, in spite of what may have happened or what may be ahead.

Mike is an animal lover and enjoys gardening and tinkering in his shed.

Kia ora koutou. My name is Mai. I grew up in Palmerston North and now live with my family in Kāpiti.

In my spare time I enjoy creative cooking and spending days in the garden. I’ve worked previously as a primary health care nurse and have enjoyed engaging with diverse communities and working with people across their lifespan.

I have a personal interest in young onset dementia and supporting and empowering whānau of all ages on their dementia journey. I’m happy to have joined the passionate team at Dementia Wellington and look forward to getting to know the Hutt dementia community and listening to your lived experience.

We are thrilled to see so many of our supporters choosing to gift their tax rebates to Dementia Wellington. Thank you so much.

If you would like to donate your rebate back to Dementia Wellington, here is more information about how to sign up to Supergenerous.

Supergenerous is an online platform that automates the claims process for donation rebates, providing the option to then re-gift those rebates back to charitable organisations. Nearly a billion dollars of rebates go unclaimed each year – money which could make a massive difference for charitable organisations like Dementia Wellington. Supergenerous is a small, Kiwi social enterprise looking to make a big difference in the world by transforming the impact of human generosity. Interested in joining our Superpartner community? You can find more information here.

New dementia book out in July

Kristen Phillips, our office manager, has written a book called Dad, You’ve Got Dementia: Conversations With My Father. The book is a memoir of her experience with her father, Don, who lived with dementia from 2011-2019. Dad, You’ve Got Dementia is being published by The Cuba Press in July, so look out for it in bookshops or go to The Cuba Press website to order a copy. Don’s words and actions are at the core of Dad, You’ve Got Dementia and the book shows that it is possible to stay connected with a loved one despite their dementia.

Save the date: Saturday, 8 July, Petone Baptist Church, 10:30-11:30 AM.

There will be a celebration of the publication of Dad, You’ve Got Dementia, including some readings, copies for sale from Schrödinger’s Books in Petone and morning tea. ALL WELCOME.

Kristen and Don at Bob Scott Retirement Village.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are slowly building up our volunteer pool again.

If any of the following activities appeal, please get in touch –

• Support for Cog café’s, particularly in Kāpiti but also Wellington and Hutt

• Mowing lawns/tidying garden/painting a door – Hutt only

• Admin support for the Dementia Advisors (photocopying, making up information packs)

• Supporting a Dementia Advisor at an education session (welcoming people etc)

• Volunteering to manage volunteers 😊

If there is something that you would like to volunteer to do that is not on the list then do get in touch.


We wanted to share with you some feedback we received recently and it serves as a reminder that we always welcome your feedback – both positive and areas where we can improve. Please email our Chief Executive, Anne Schumacher or call her on 021 0837 6641 to share any comments and suggestions you might have to improve our services.

This is from an email that Anne received that has been edited to preserve the confidentiality of the writer:

I recall receiving support which couldn’t be obtained from other health providers, such as GPs and specialists. Staff of Dementia Wellington had a depth of understanding about the day-to-day realities that confront both those with the disease as well as their families and carers.
And the need to continue to assist people with the many manifestations of dementia can only be increasing, given NZ’s growing older population.
There’s also the need to keep up with new research findings about possible factors that contribute to the on-set of different types of dementia, whether in mid-life or later.
I was grateful to Dementia Wellington (some 10 years ago) for opportunities to learn about the approaches to care by Prof Graham Stokes and Oliver James – they gave me ideas about how to continue to support my older sister, who had developed Pick’s Disease, an early onset form of dementia.
The need for the work of Dementia Wellington (& the national organisation) continues in so many ways.
Thank you for all the support and learning that your team facilitates!

Please note, donations of $5 or more are tax-deductible.

Make a payment directly into our bank account

Dementia Wellington Charitable Trust
Bank: ASB 12-3142-0258625-50
GST number: 127-923-906.
Charity Number: CC56108