Kim Bradnock never thought a volunteer admin role to fill in time when her children started school would lead to her coordinating her community’s support group.
She’s been part of the Horowhenua Supergrans team at Levin for 14 years and now oversees the organisation’s life skills and supervised contact services.
In her Coordinator role, she oversees a team of dedicated volunteers who provide mentoring to struggling families and individuals by helping improve life skills including cooking, budgeting and menu planning.
She also heads up the supervised contact service for Levin and says it’s the highlight of her day to see a child’s face light up when they have some quality time with their parent.
“I love seeing the relationships that develop between parents and children over time,” she says.
Ms Bradnock says the supervised contact service allows for a child to see their parent or significant care-giver in a safe and controlled environment. This can provide parents with an opportunity to rebuild their relationship with their child, particularly there has been domestic violence.
In situations that don’t involve violence, supervised contact can also be a way for parents and child to rebuild a relationship when they haven’t been in contact for a while.
“We hire a child centred venue for the sessions where people can come, play with their children, do arts and crafts, sit and read or play games together,” Ms Bradnock says.
Through the support of her workplace and the Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce, Ms Bradnock is on a mission to upskill herself by studying the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Social Services.
The 12-18-month workplace-based training programme enables apprentices to develop and demonstrate the skills that they need to work alongside people, family and whānau.
Apprentices learn tools and strategies to support their clients’ autonomy, identify goals, address barriers and achieve aspirations.
Targeted at experienced staff in a range of health, wellbeing, mental health, disability and social services roles, graduates achieve the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4).
Ms Bradnock says she’s been waiting a long time to study the Apprenticeship and already has her eyes set on the Level 5 diploma course.
“I’ve wanted to learn more and have a formal qualification, since I’ve been doing this work for so many years,” she says.
“The learnings from the Apprenticeships are showing me different ways of looking at the work I’m doing every day, such as different ways of approaching an issue or a problem that I may have.”
“It’s also teaching me how to self-reflect on what I am doing, and ultimately, provide a better service to our community.”