Paula’s Farewell – Staff Update

Paula’s Farewell – Staff Update

Time to move on.

On Thursday the 24th of February I will be working my last day at AJ’s, I am moving on to Special Olympics NZ where I will be the Regional Sports Co-Ordinator of the Upper South Island. This means I will see many people from AJ’s around at different Special Olympics events.

AJ’s has been a large part of my life; I was here 25 years ago when it all began. Then after a few trips overseas and living in the UK for 15 years, I have been back again for four years this time, it has been great and worked perfectly with my young family.

I will miss the vibrancy of AJ’s; the new young clients, who are school leavers, really bring a new lease of life to the unit. There are a lot of opportunities for clients to get stuck in and live their best AJ’s life.

I have fond memories of catching the bus from Templeton in the early days and everyone buzzing about their new lives in the “community”.  Supporting people to go on the escalator, who had never been on one before, teaching independent busing skills and drinks at the pub on a Friday afternoon with Jimmy Connors were all part of the early days at AJ’s.

I love the way AJ’s is progressing with the young clients and moving with them to create opportunities doing many different activities. Getting people ‘moving more than before’ with 1-1 sessions and small groups has really got most people involved.

To all the staff, keep being awesome and supporting people to thrive and look out for each other.

Jim, you are like a brother to me, thanks for always taking me on, I will always be the boomerang of AJ’s. Calling from Singapore Airport and when seven months pregnant back from the UK, asking if there was any chance of a job at AJ’s…you always said “yes” thank you for that.  Allowing me to follow my dream and play cricket for my country, back in the late 90’s early 2000’s. I was one of the lucky ones with a supportive boss at the time.

I wish AJ’s all the best; I will pop back and have the odd lunch catch up.

I am looking forward to the challenges in my new job, stepping out of my comfort zone and having to use my initiative and learn as I go along.

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