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Selwyn Centres

(Taken from Thursday Bulletin 21 July 11.)

Selwyn Centres – An Invitation to All Parishes and Mission Units

The following letter has been received from Reverend Duncan McDonald, CEO of the Selwyn Foundation. This resource from the Selwyn Foundation is superb and all Parishes and Mission Units are encouraged to make full use of it. More information, including references from other Parishes in Auckland and the Selwyn Centres Operation Manual.  See below.

Over the last 10 years, The Selwyn Foundation has developed an extremely effective, simple and sustainable ministry to enable the churches in Auckland to address the increasing problem of social isolation of older people in the community. Part-funded by the Foundation and based mainly in church premises, the ‘Selwyn Centres’ offer those who may be living alone and have limited family contact the chance to meet and socialise in a friendly, caring environment. More than five hundred people over the age of 65 now attend one of twenty-five ‘Selwyn Centres’ throughout Greater Auckland and in Whangarei each week. Specifically, this initiative offers great hope in caring for the elderly in terms of church and community, through developing a visionary new service delivery option for the elderly vis-à-vis Alzheimers and dementia.

We have recently had the ministry independently evaluated by the University of Auckland (please see a copy of their findings), and will be looking to develop it for a national funding model with the District Health Boards and Ministry of Health over the next two to three years. The Foundation produces manuals, generic pamphlets and posters for use by the Centres. It also provides ongoing resourcing, procedure and protocol updates and seminars to ensure that the Centres in Auckland are supported and that they comply with continually changing legislative requirements and ‘best practice’.

We realise that the problem of social isolation of the elderly is not just an Auckland phenomenon, but one that is of national concern. We believe that the Selwyn Centre model – which enables churches to help address this issue – is one that could be translated nationally. Therefore, we would be happy to help resource you, in order to assist in addressing this particular social concern in your Diocese. The Foundation would provide the resources to enable you to establish and maintain a Selwyn Centre in your community. Specifically, we would provide the operations manual that contains all the necessary systems and protocols to set up and ensure that the Centre is safe and sustainable, as well as generic leaflets and posters to publicise it within the local area. In addition, we would invite you to our regular co-ordinator seminars which are designed to further challenge and resource the co-ordinators and members of their management team.

In return, we would ask that the name ‘Selwyn’ be incorporated within the ministry name. This would not only benefit The Selwyn Foundation in raising its national profile, but may also help ministries attract potential funding from their District Health Board, (due to the growing recognition of the health benefits and positive impact on the guests attending the Selwyn Centres in Auckland, Counties Manukau District Health Board has subsidised the cost of providing the co-ordinators’ salaries; we would hope that this would also be the case with your District Health Board).

I would be pleased if you could circularise this letter and its enclosures within your ministry units, with a view to getting any views or comments as to whether you would be interested in pursuing this particular model of care. Our annual Selwyn Centre Co-ordinators’ Day is to be held at Selwyn Village in Point Chevalier, Auckland, on Wednesday, 7 September 2011, and we should like to extend an invitation to attend this day to those who may be interested in potentially setting up a Centre. It would be beneficial for delegates to also visit several of the Selwyn Centres in progress, to gain an insight into how simple and fun these ministries are! We would suggest, therefore, that those attending might extend their visit over two days (Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September) with an overnight stay on Wednesday 7 September.

As co-ordinators and a support person from each of the twenty-four Selwyn Centres in the Auckland region will be attending, we will have limited space. Therefore, if any members of your ministry units are interested in this opportunity, I should be grateful if you would let me know as soon as possible, so that we may plan for numbers.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With love and care
Yours faithfully

Duncan F Macdonald
Chief Executive Officer

More Information  

More information, including references from other Parishes in Auckland and the Selwyn Centres Operation Manual is available here.       PDF files.

Contact Details 

The Selwyn Foundation 
Ph:  09 845 0838

No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!