By: Mikaela Collins

An adult day centre in Whangārei which now has 9000 visits by clients each year celebrated its 25th birthday with food, music, kapa haka and cake.

Founding member Margaret Hibbert. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Forget-Me-Not Adult Day Centre – which provides services to adults of all ages including those with disabilities, the elderly and frail, and those with memory loss, head injuries or other disabilities – was established on February 14, 1994 by Margaret Hibbert, Carol King and a “wonderful” team.

Centre manager Tina Darkins said Forget-Me-Not filled a gap in the community after the Kamo Home day centre closed.

“There was a need to help all these people and they set it up. When they needed to get their own premises they raised the money and a huge amount of people helped,” Darkins said.

Forget-Me-Not client Frances Bristow. Photo / Michael Cunningham

On Thursday the Tikipunga-based centre celebrated its 25th birthday with delicious food, cake and entertainment.

“It was fabulous, the mayor was there and several of the original wonderful people attended,” Darkins said.

“The whole day was finished off by the most outstanding kapa haka group from Tikipunga High School – they were absolutely amazing. It was wonderful to see the young and old mingling and working together to make happiness.”

Darkins said the centre, now run by the Northland Disabled Charitable Trust, has 9000 client visits a year and also delivers frozen meals to the elderly and disabled in Whangārei.

Nola MacDonald has been coming to Forget-Me-Not for 14-years and is usually found playing the piano. Photo/Michael Cunningham

She said the centre did anything that enhanced the wellbeing of clients.

“It’s about doing therapeutic rehabilitation and bringing the best out of these people so they can have fun getting better and are able to live in their communities. We keep them out of rest homes.”

Darkins said they receive “wonderful” feedback from clients and families.

“They say ‘thank goodness my loved one can come to Forget-Me-Not’ because they don’t think they’d be able to manage at home without that. We’re helping people who are caring for someone else 24/7 and they just say ‘you’ve made my life complete.'”

Source: Northern Advocate


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