Connecting People and Ideas in the Hearing Voices Movement

Chairman’s Report on behalf of Executive Committee

July 21st 2012

Author: Arana Pearson, delivered by Claire Moore.

The Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa New Zealand is into its fifth year as a charitable community organisation and we survive on the voluntary contributions of all involved without any recurrent funding. We are essentially a peer support network. Given the financial position, we can say with confidence the growth of the network is true community building that goes deep and is slow but sure. A big thanks to Richard for being a competent treasurer and keeping track of things using Excel spreadsheets.

The committee has agreed on five strategic goals over the past two years. These goals are:

  1. Expanding resources
  2. Growing the network
  3. Public Awareness and Education
  4. Networking
  5. Effective administrative systems that support the Hearing Voices Network

Our meetings were not as regular last year and our renewed commitment is to meet every two months plus an annual planning meeting to set goals for the network. Part of the difficulty in meeting is the geographic spread of the committee without resources to travel. We have explored using Skype to meet and I have been able to chair our meetings from Wellington with the remainder of the committee all being in Auckland. We met with Peter Bullimore who is the chair of the UK hearing voices network based in Sheffield, England. Peter attended one of our committee meetings in Auckland. Peter also delivered some training and members of our network were sponsored to attend his training on voices and paranoia.

We held a nation-wide survey this year in order for us to be more resourced and informed about our planning for growth. The survey is also helpful with funding applications. This was an on-line survey supplemented by some group/verbal input. Copies of the results of this survey are available today. Much thanks to Tracey Canon, Adrienne and Claire Moore for assistance with the survey and funding application. We have put an application into the Frozen Funds Trust and will find out next month whether we have been successful with that funding request.

We had new groups initiated in the past year. One group started in the mental health service in Porirua supported by the psychologist there. Another started in Hastings. And the Wellington group regularly presents at the local acute inpatient mental health service. Mika supported the Hamilton group which moved to Centre 401 peer support venue. In addition to these new initiatives, regular meetings were run throughout the

year at the Mason Clinic, Grey Lynn, West Auckland, Glenfield, Mangare, Greenlane, Hamilton, Palmerston North, and Wellington.

A big acknowledgement to Adrienne our secretary. Adrienne keeping up the website, putting out newsletters, being a mail and telephone contact and for offering your home as a place for the committee to meet. Adrienne is also to be acknowledged for the internet promotion by e-mailing an MP3 recording for world hearing voices day on 14th September. This was a creative piece that went widely all over and was the most effective use of media of any hearing voices committee in the world.

There were some farewells and ‘hello’s to our committee this year. We farewell Vanessa Beavan who has moved to Sydney to live. Vanessa was a founding member and our co-chair and she made a significant contribution to the vision of supporting a hearing voices peer support network in New Zealand. We wish Vanessa well and will keep in touch. We also farewell Robyn Aldrich from the committee through the year, and invited John Read onto the board. Welcome John and thank you for your kind support over the years, and to your more formal contribution through agreeing to be on our committee and for your contribution today at our AGM.

Over all, we have achieved a growing network with much good will from the wider community. What is required in the next year is an executive that develops stronger written plans and secures enough funding to execute those plans. Our survey has identified a need to train and resource group facilitators and to support the office functions of maintaining and growing our membership. A committee that appreciates the distinction between governance and operations is important and the growing of groups needs community leadership all over New Zealand. The South Island is an area to grow new groups in the coming year. These are some of the areas we look forward to in the coming year ahead.

(A big thank you to Claire Moore for agreeing to present my report to the AGM. And also for your commitment to the committee throughout the year).

Arana Pearson

Download: HVN Aotearoa NZ Report and Survey Results

Intervoice was set up to support the International Hearing Voices Movement, celebrating the diversity and creativity within it. We do what we can to share information and connect people with groups, networks and resources.

World Hearing Voices Day Postcard