Book of Proceedings: The Journey of an Innovative Community Volunteer Project

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Authors: Arno Grueber, Helen Falla, Simon Ogilvie and Zheyne Tahana, NEW ZEALAND

Year: 2016

Event: 2016 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Book of Proceedings 2016, conference papers, proceedings papers, Cookease, work-force

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9945702-1-5

Abstract: Paper from TheMHS Conference 2016 Book of Proceedings: People. Authenticity Starts in the Heart. The Conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand 23 - 26 August 2016.

Researchers, practice experts and policy documents identify social inclusion, community participation and holistic approaches as key to recovery from mental illness (Hamer et al, 2014; Farkas, 2007). This article outlines the development, philosophy, challenges and experiences with a unique project called ‘Cookease’. The project provides opportunities for its members to volunteer their time for the benefit of the community in order to gain skills to re-enter the work-force. This is achieved through fundraising events, working in community gardens and supplying school lunches at a low decile primary school. The project is member-led and gives members a sense of hope, belief in themselves and purpose in life. This project is unique in the sense that it not only makes a significant and sustainable difference in the members’ lives but it also enables them to make a difference in the lives of others.

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