What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Matua Raḵi December 2015 newsletter | Editorial

By Vanessa Caldwell, Matua Raḵi national manager

I love that my kids are the sporty types. Considering I run as if I am in a three-legged race by myself, I enjoy watching my children succeed where I have no hope to excel. It is great that is, until they get injured. We have been very fortunate until recently when, over the past two months, I have had all three members of my family in arm casts, and had several trips to A&E, radiology (I’m getting so good at reading x-rays I’m going to start putting it on my CV), the plaster room and physiotherapy.

I realised after the latest visit to A&E just yesterday that it is all much easier and quicker now that I know what to expect, where to go, and what to ask for. I wondered about the experience for our tāngata whai ora and their families seeking help from our services and how easy we make it for people to get the help they need. When people are seeking help they are usually experiencing some level of distress – whether it is the first time or the seventh time, it makes no difference. They may also be experiencing some shame, whakamā, anxiety and/or confusion.

It is easy to forget that a friendly face, a warm gesture and a welcoming smile can reassure people that they have come to the right place for the help they need, even if it’s just to point them in the right direction. We don’t need to have all the answers of course, but let’s not underestimate the value in taking some of the burden from people in letting them know their effort and courage to reach out will be worth it. 

In our December 2015 newsletter, we profile a number of our first responders; those in our workforce who are the first voice, the first face, the welcome at the door for people who seek our help. This is a vital role in our services that can be overlooked so we would encourage you to celebrate the work that is done by our reception and front desk staff.  

Ngā mihi nui
Nā, Vanessa