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New faces at the helm of Hospice

An experienced public servant and a veteran of the residential and palliative care sector are the new faces at the helm of Hospice Wairarapa.

Gretchen Saulbrey has been appointed as the interim chief executive for the community organisation and Dr Jenny Prentice will take on the role of service delivery manager.

Saulbrey has a wide-ranging background, including serving as a sworn police officer, managing small businesses and a non-government organisation, and in the last four years, working in project and programme management across complex social issues within the Ministry of Social Development, Police and Oranga Tamariki.

“It’s been a privilege working for government agencies and at the pointy end of some very tricky social problems,” she said.

“I’ve learned so much about the need for strong collaboration, multi-agency approaches and enduring partnerships to create the right changes at the right time”

“I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work back in Wairarapa and to be part of the Hospice team”

Bringing expertise to deliver the services needed, Prentice brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in social work, public policy, aged care, palliative care, the health sector and organisational development.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the team and continuing the development of palliative care services in Wairarapa.”

Hospice Wairarapa is part of a palliative care system that delivers wrap-around support alongside other community-based services and health providers, such as GPs, medical practices and Kahukura – the Te Whatu Ora palliative care team.

Saulbrey and Prentice look forward to continuing Hospice Wairarapa’s contribution to “a cohesive and integrated palliative care service” across the whole region.

“We want to make sure all palliative care services are easy to access and navigate, and that Hospice supports this journey by providing a welcoming, inclusive and safe experience for individuals and whānau at any stage of their palliative care,” Saulbrey said.

Hospice Wairarapa’s services focus on caring for the psycho-social, spiritual and cultural needs of individuals and whānau through their end-of-life journey. Hospice services are available to everyone in the community and are free of charge.

To enable these services to remain free, Hospice relies on valued funders and a vast network of committed volunteers – usually found helping at fundraising events or working at Hospice’s various second-hand stores.

Almost everything that is donated is moved through the Masterton and Greytown shops, the Saturday morning garage sale [at Te Kowhai, 59 Renall St, Masterton], or the bookshop – the lesser-known treasure trove behind the Greytown shop.

Of the retail arm, Saulbrey said, “I’ve been blown away by the scale of the operation and the exceptional way it is organised.

“The team at Hospice [both staff and volunteers] love what they do, and it shows. We look forward to a fantastic year ahead.”

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall is the editor of the Wairarapa Midweek. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and has a keen interest in arts, culture, social issues, and community justice.

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