Monique Gardiner - Manager
Ko Wharepuhunga te maunga, Ko Mangaorua te awa, Ko Tainui te waka, Ko Ngati Raukawa te iwi
Ko Ngati Huri me Ngati Kapu nga hapu, Ko Pikitu te marae,taku ingoa, Ko Monique, Tena koutou,
As manager of Whangamata Community Services, I feel privileged to be serving such an amazing community. I have experience in all areas of social services both as a service user and as a provider. Having walked in many shoes throughout my life, I have lived experience of many of the issues our clientele present with and use this to offer sincere and authentic support. Admitting to and asking for help, is sometimes the most difficult thing a person has to do and the reception or service that you receive is indicative of how willing the person is to seek help again. At Whangamata Community Services Trust, my team and I have worked hard to create an environment where all people feel welcome and included. It is important for me, as a manager, to be accessible to individuals and whanau within the community and to treat everyone with the compassion and dignity they deserve.
My professional journey has involved over 20 years of experience working within the mental health and addictions sector, dedicating my life to providing quality care for individuals and whanau within my community. As a registered practitioner I believe that reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and addictions is the key to increasing access and engagement with services.
Living in Waihi and working within Pare Hauraki, I have a comprehensive understanding of the limitations small towns experience when requiring services in their area. Geographical challenges, attitudes and funding are but a few of the difficulties our whānau face when seeking support. As a result of this, I was motivated to be on the Waikato DHB Consumer council. My intentions are to use my personal and professional experience in the sector, to provide a voice for all those whose lives have been touched by mental illness and addictions, to convey the perspective small communities face in access to and delivery of services and to be proactive in supporting further development in this sector.
In my personal life, I am married with two amazing children. When I am not in Whangamata, I am active in the running of our business that my partner and I own. We have a shared love of antiques and all things retro and this is how the Underground Market came into fruition.
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King. ..
Heleena White - Receptionist / Whanau Support / Volunteer Coordinator
My name is Heleene White , I have lived within the Community for 20 years. I am a mother of two Children.
My passion is People and Place, and to ensue both these are nurtured and kept safe.
I provide support to our local Whanau , promoting wellbeing.
I am the front face of WCST and offer a warm welcome to who comes through our doors.
Tina Phillips - Registered Counsellor
I was born in and grew up in the Hauraki. I have served my community in many ways over the years. I have been a volunteer, a coach, a committee member and have done facilitation in the past and I am now delighted to be fulfilling my role for the Whangamata community. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and enjoy the outdoors.
I joined the Whangamata Community Services Trust in 2017 as a counsellor and have been delighted with the sense of care and support that the people of Whangamata and surrounds offer one another.
It is an honour to walk alongside people and hear the stories of their lives. Each person has unique skills, knowledge, strengths and resources. I love working collaboratively to highlight these so that people can live the life that they prefer.
“The problem is the problem, the person is not the problem” (Michael White)
Hannah Hoffman - Youth mental health occupational therapist
Kia ora, my name is Hannah Hoffman and I am a New Zealand registered Occupational Therapist (NZROT). I moved to Whangamata when I was 12 years old, living away at times, but always returning and consider this place ‘home’.
I enjoy living in Whangamata with my family, who love surfing and spending time on the beach.
I joined the Whangmata Community Services Trust in May 2019 and I work with children and adolescence, supporting their mental health.
My work experience has predominantly been in the mental health setting, working in both child and adolescent and adult mental health with the DHB.
As an OT, I believe that being able to participate and engage in meaningful, healthy, activities (occupations) is vital to good mental health and well-being.
OT’s believe that human’s have this inherent need to ‘do’ things.
Often for people experiencing poor mental health they find themselves unable to do the things they want to do, need to do or are expected to do, so my job is to support them to find ways to be able to do these things. I use strategies such as sensory modulation, alcohol and drug support, psycho education, anxiety management, socio-emotional skills training and CBT to support people to reach their goals.
I approach health from a holistic perspective and consider people’s cognitive, physical and emotional abilities and find out what is getting in the way of ‘doing’ the things that make life worth living.
Chris Hannah - Funding coordinator / Community development / Kids Club Supervisor
My family and I moved from the “big smoke” to Whiritoa in 2018 and just love the slower pace of life. My role with WCST is varied and challenging, from accessing funding, to community development and running the newly established school holiday programme.
I have four children, 3 who have flown the nest, as well as being foster mum to two girls. We have opened our home and hearts over the years to many children needing care, a rewarding and incredible journey.
My passion is “community” and I am very proud to be part of such a caring, dedicated team who have a united goal – to provide support and promote resilience for our local whanau.
Natalie Boyd - Social Worker
Kia Ora, my name is Natalie Boyd, I am the new social worker for this wonderful community services. I have been a social worker for the past 7 years and I am looking forward to doing some great work in the community helping whanau/families.
I come from Rotorua and have just recently moved to Whangamata.
I look forward to seeing what the future holds.
Pip Ollerenshaw – Accounts Administrator
I joined the WCST team in February 2021 and I can already see what a great job this organisation does to support their local community. I am looking forward to being able to contribute by bringing my accounting/administration knowledge to the team.
I have a background in ‘number crunching’ having started out as an office assistant back in the 80’s, then working my way towards a qualification with the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand as an accounting technician in 2004.
I am a great animal lover and spent 7 years working as a volunteer at the local SPCA in Waihi. My other passion is gardening, and I take great pride in the produce that I bring to our dinner table.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin