Breaking the silence - information, hope and healing after abortion

  Update Message 

May 2017

Chairperson's Message


I am new to the position of P.A.T.H.S. Trust Chairperson, a role which I commenced in February this year. I have however, had a long involvement with P.A.T.H.S. starting as a student on placement with P.A.T.H.S. in 2008. I was active as Support Group and Connect group facilitator, Face book moderator, and Funding administrator.

P.A.T.H.S. is an organisation that I am personally passionate about and I am proud to have the privilege of being involved in various ways over the years.

I would like to thank the outgoing Chairperson Julie Coster for all the work she has done during the past year. Also, a very special thank you to Maree Stace for her contribution over some 4 years, with the last few as Co-ordinator of Services. Maree leaves us as she becomes busier with her private counselling and related work.

Thanks, is also extended to our outgoing treasurer Cara McIntyre, who even after she had resigned last year, continued to support us in the role until the end of the 2016 financial year when a new treasurer stepped into the role. We are extremely grateful. A hearty welcome is extended to Phil Gnad who has taken on this important role for us once more.

Welcome is extended also to Averil Ewart-Jones as she takes time from her busy schedule to take a place on the P.A.T.H.S. Trust and assume the role of Prayer Network Coordinator.

I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing commitment from Gaye White on the P.A.T.H.S. Trust we value your experience and your work for us. To Carolina Gnad our Training and Education Coordinator and founder of P.A.T.H.S. I would also like to acknowledge your steadfast involvement and the warm way you support us in all our roles.

Thank you also to all those who support P.A.T.H.S. in our prayer Network, our Funders, Doners, our PCP’s, friends of P.A.T.H.S. and our clients.

This coming year we have a change in direction. We return to a volunteer, mission based organisation as funding becomes challenging for many non-profit organisations including ourselves.

We are in good heart as a Trust. People passionate about the valuable and unique work of P.A.T.H.S. are at the heart of our organisation and I am confident it is these people that will carry us through any challenges we face.

As money becomes tight we are simplifying organisational aspects by being mindful of our core functions and values in our work. Our core functions being counselling people hurting around their baby loss experiences due to termination/abortion, or other pregnancy-baby losses; and training and education within our community around the unique grief and trauma for people experiencing such a loss.

We are exploring options of funding our work, and we are tightening and making our processes and systems more efficient. We are also looking out for skilled and passionate people to volunteer in areas of funding, administration, marketing/outreach, and on the Trust.

We believe volunteers gain something satisfying in doing work associated with supporting our unique role in the community we serve. To anyone out there thinking about offering your services to us we are a friendly, supportive group. We pride ourselves in having Christian values, especially acceptance, and non-judgment and service. As an organisation we look at individual talents and skills, and how these can best be used. There are always opportunities to stretch, grow and learn.

I look forward to the year ahead with faith and trust that all we need will come and I thank you all for your support.

Warm regards
Karen Holmes

P.A.T.H.S. in Need

We are living in difficult times and certainly for any NGO or agency there are challenges. As you know P.A.T.H.S. has been undergoing significant changes as we have moved from voluntary to paid positions. We have had some wonderful people come and go to help with this transition time. We are now needing to put out a plea for more support.

We need people to step up and contribute time in various key roles

• Administration

• Funding

• Treasurer

• Trustees

• Outreach

We are looking for people who have a heart for this area of healing and who have the energy and skills to assist.

If you are interested or know anyone who has those particular skills we would like to hear from you. We are also seeking to widen avenues for funding. We would appreciate ideas and financial contributions are very welcome.

We are strong at the heart and we have a small solid core of committed caring individuals who hold the mission and vision of P.A.T.H.S. and are working to ensure the services we provide can continue.

The credibility of the service is in that each person who connects with us and receives support is benefited somehow and is grateful. We have a professionalism that we value and we provide a unique service.

There is an understanding that the stigma, secrecy and shame still surrounding abortion/termination for many affected makes it hard for them to reach out for help. But that reaching out for help is often vital to their wellbeing.

Often women, and men, are trapped in isolation and silenced about their experiences, struggling with grief, depression and anxiety, and this can have a flow on effect on their health, their relationships, wider family and communities.

P.A.T.H.S. offers specialised help to respond to the needs of those affected by a recent or past experience.

So if you or someone you know may be in a position to give a little, or to help. we would like to hear from you. Contact us by phone 0800 728 470 or email us at admin@postabortionpaths.org.nz

One client said: P.A.T.H.S. provided me with a safe space to tell my story. As I became more aware of what had happened and how it was for me in the experience, I could understand why I was so affected.

Co-ordinator's Report

I would like to let you know that at the end of March, I will have officially stepped down from the role of Client Services Co-ordinator for P.A.T.H.S. As all worthwhile and heart felt connections are hard to come to terms with ending, this was a decision prayerfully and thoughtfully made.

I would like to thank each of you for your support.

Over the past four years while coordinating, in particular client services, there have been many milestones over¬come. During this time, some of the milestones included:
  • Bringing in two Coordinators to reduce stress on one person, creating a team that I will always treasure, in working with Carolina.

  • Identifying two Coordinators roles to meet the vision and mission, clarifying client work and training in the community work.

  • As the Trust had been running for many years, they were ready to step down and gradually new Trustees were brought to P.A.T.H.S.

  • Treasurer and Funder roles were not filled and the Trust struggled to make ends meet. Thanks to private donations, just enough, at the right time, the work continued and continues. Job descriptions were created for new paid roles for Funder and Treasurer as these roles were filled. An experienced Funder was contracted with a P.A.T.H.S. inexperienced Funder and mentored, and funding came and grew.

  • Trust members changed and new people with a heart for P.A.T.H.S. came as Carolina and I stepped down from the Trust to concentrate on the co-ordination roles.

  • Trust members changed, some stayed short term, all I believe for a reason and maybe as part of their healing too. I experienced that each person who was brought to the Trust or work of P.A.T.H.S. had a heart for the vision and mission.

  • Workshops, seminars, education and training grew.

  • More Counselling Partners were trained and connected.

  • A Counselling Partners Pack was created to streamline documentation and application to P.A.T.H.S.

  • The use of the internet through online Email and Facebook connection and counselling grew.

  • Connect groups ran in Christchurch and once in Auckland for clients.

With different roles whether paid or not, there has been coming and going of staff, making the road continually bumpy with change. However, the work fulfilling the vision and mission of P.A.T.H.S. has continued and grown.

Thank you for your support over the past many years

Meanwhile, I am running my private practice as a Coun¬sellor and continuing to manage work supporting young families, while still continuing as a P.A.T.H.S. counselling partner too.

It has been a bumpy road ending, as a new Trust needed to be appointed around the same time as I have been leaving. However it is a relief to know the Trust is smoothing out what is needed and the work of P.A.T.H.S. will go on.

I wish both the Trust and all involved with P.A.T.H.S. well, and will continue to pray for the ongoing fulfilling of the vision and mission of P.A.T.H.S.

- Maree Stace (outgoing Co-ordinator of Client Services)

We thank Maree for all her efforts and the contribution she has made over recent years to the life and outreach of P.A.T.H.S. Wishing you well for your future as life unfolds in new ways.

The state of flux has been an interesting time for P.A.T.H.S. As founder I have seen P.A.T.H.S. go through many stages.

Paid roles whilst beneficial at the time were not sustain¬able in the current climate. Key roles vital to maintain our core services needed to be filled.

Being aware of the needs of co-ordination but unable to take on the full load myself again, we put out a plea to our Prayer Network and P.A.T.H.S. Counselling Partners. As well as Karen and Averil assuming roles on the Trust alongside Gaye, we appreciate Chrissie Burrows helping with client emails and being willing to cover the phone. Also another counsellor Vic Turner has expressed interest in managing and monitoring the private Facebook Group, which is fabulous, as that is a vital avenue of support for numbers of post abortive women. We are very grateful for everyone pulling together at this time, which is not easy as we revert to voluntary roles. So your heart and commitment is wonderful and very much appreciated.

In accordance with the Strategic Plan, it is a back to basics with the focus on maintaining our core services. Nothing has been wasted and we have grown and learnt much from the past experiences. P.A.T.H.S. continues to offer Hope for the Hurting and be a voice in our communities and society for those adversely affected by their experiences.

- Carolina Gnad (Co-ordinator of Education and Training)

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