"I met Marlene through a TradeMe purchase, and she saw I had my hands full with my two special needs pre-schoolers. She encouraged me to come along to a morning tea in Papatoetoe that was for mums with special needs children. I attended the morning tea and met some amazing mums who I could relate with because we were all on the same journey of raising special needs children. That was back in the days when it was known as South Auckland Special Needs Group. Now it is known as the Auckland Whanau Special Needs group, where 100’s of families from all over the Auckland region attend regular events. These events cater not only for the special needs children but also the parents/caregivers and siblings. My two kids are now aged twelve and thirteen and know we would not be where we are today without the continuing support we receive from the group."

 Bec

Auckland

"Thank you, Marlene and the team, for creating such a safe, supportive group where we are included and celebrated. A place where we can share our highs, lows, milestones and encourage each other. Joined soon after my two children were diagnosed with ASD, met a lot of great families who "get it". Informative, valuable group of people who have guided me along our journey. Appreciate all you do for our special needs community, blessings."

 Beatrice

Auckland

"I joined when it was Counties Manukau Special Needs Support Group a few years ago now with my daughter who has coeliacs disease, apraxia of speech and hip dysplasia. With the support of this group, it kept me going and fighting for my daughter. The xmas events my kids and myself love kids can be themselves and no one looks at them with disapproving eyes and at me like I'm a bad parent. At age 8 my daughter has now been diagnosed with autism and this group has helped me so much. I'm so thankful for this group otherwise with my own health problems in would of given up years ago. I have also made some lovely friends along the way through this group."

Sharlene

Auckland

"Kia Ora. We live rural and it has been great to have such a wonderful network of people to support us. The hurdles can be great but with the support of this group, they can be overcome. We have also as a whanau been able to experience some great experiences by being part of this group. We have been able to take our child to special needs events where we have just fitted right in. It has honestly been refreshing and inspirational. To the organisers, Thanks for the wonderful support and also to the people that make this group so wonderful, Nga mihi nunui."

Te Puawai Connelly-Richards

                                                                                                                          Auckland

"There is always someone in this group, willing to offer advice and knowledge of past experiences. If I don't know someone in this group does. The people in the group will offer support and kindness, when you need a shoulder to cry on, or a vent. This group has been a godsend and we are so very lucky to belong here. Thank s a million times, thank you all."

                                                                                                                 Cyndi Robinson

                                                                                                                          Auckland

"I feel very spoilt. Thank you, Marlene, and Joy, for organising a wonderful brunch for us. I only knew of 2 people at my table, but I took a risk and spoke to everyone This was a beautiful reminder for us today to feel acknowledged and have that freedom away from our SN life -the struggle is real, and we aren't alone!"

Amelia

Auckland

"Thank you so much Marlene Green for everything you do for this group. Was really nice to have some time out and meet some amazing mums. Also, thanks to your amazing people who help to make this all possible for us. It is very much appreciated"

Cheryl

Auckland

"A fantastic group to be part of to promote sport and recreation opportunities for physically and vision impaired people across Auckland. Many families have been and still are being connected with regular and/or one off opportunities through the networks created within this group. Big ups to those whose are doing the hard yards behind the scenes."

 

Maia Lewis - Halberg Disability Sport Foundation

Auckland

"Being a member of this group has given my daughter some amazing opportunities. Her most memorable experience being the dinosaur encounter which would never have been possible at the normal public sessions as they would have overwhelmed her completely. She is currently attending the adapted gymnastics lessons, and not only has she improved physically but her confidence and social skills have increased. For me, I have received support and advice from the group which has been invaluable. To know that there are other people who can relate to what you are going through or feeling is a great comfort."

 

Jo

Auckland

Saw your FB post, what I think: what I love about being part of the group is the diverse postings of different informative topics. I love the understanding, compassion, support, and acceptance that comes along with having a child who is extraordinary with the other members you meet on their journey. Marlene, Joy, and other members are very thoughtful and passionate about caring for the whole family and their precious ones to access activities out in the community. Thank you, m x

M

Auckland