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Supporting 298 Youth Health Centre

22 October 2019

What does Real People, Real Solutions mean in the real world?

As much as we provide practical solutions for everyday people, it also means we’re real people ourselves who love giving back where we can.

One area where Godfreys Law gives back to our community is by partnering with 298 Youth Health Centre and the Korowai Trust. They provide free medical care and counselling services for those aged 10 - 24 years.

Godfreys Law 298 Youth Health Trust healthcare

298 Youth Health Centre

Their goals are enabling young people from all walks of life in Canterbury to have access to services which promote physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social health, especially for those young people most vulnerable to harm. They also want to create a safe environment in which young people are respected, accepted and contribute to their own well-being, and can be connected with their whanau.

“298 means working with young people to fulfil their potential, and it’s unbelievable having the support of Godfreys Law,” says 298 Youth Health founder Dr Sue Bagshaw. She may be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, but Sue’s not keen on official titles.

“I first met Brad right at the beginning post-earthquake and they have been so supportive. We just have to say, “There’s another lease, do you mind?” and they say “sure, sure, no problems.” There’s never any problems. It’s great,” says Sue.

Staying Focused on Health Care

298 Youth Health, which is managed by the Korowai Youth Well-Being Trust has had to move locations several times after the earthquakes. Godfreys Law has helped them every time.

“Otherwise, our energies would be going into the legal side of things, like Trust management, and looking into lease agreements. We can just hand that over to Godfreys Law, it’s really helpful,” says Sue.

“It’s fantastic working with Brad and Kathryn at Godfreys Law,” says Centre Manager Dr Marie Ditchburn. “Every dollar counts to us so I don’t think we could have gotten where we are today without them.”

Brad McDonald 298 Youth Health Centre Dame Dr Sue Bagshaw Godfreys LawDr Marie Ditchburn, Dr Sue Bagshaw, Kathryn Evans and Brad McDonald

 “When we engaged Godfreys Law recently, we had very little time to put everything together to relocate here to Amuri Park. They got on board immediately and were really efficient with everything we needed, and I think they went over and above,” says Marie.

“Having this new premises means seeing more patients, and more importantly it means delivering better quality of care for our patients,” she says.

“We’ve got better facilities for our workers too,” says Sue Bagshaw. “They now have a room where they can work without being hemmed in.”

“For example, Fridays are always so busy for us,” says Marie. “In our last premises, at times we would be seeing patients in our staff room. We would have a mobile trolley that we could take into our staff room, and if the door was shut we would know not to go in because there was a patient in there. Now, we have four, identical clinical rooms, and we don’t ever have to use our staff room to see patients any more. It means a lot to us, but it means more to our patients.”

“When we were on Barbadoes Street, I used to have to take people for a walk,” says Sue. “There was no room to see them in.”

A New Premises For 298 Youth Health

“As a manager, I’m a big believer in pastoral care of staff,” says Dr Marie Ditchburn. “Staff look after the patients and it’s my responsibility to look after the staff. If you’ve got really nice premises, if you’ve got a staff room where people can escape to, if you’ve got a nice area outside where they can sit down in Summer, and have a space to themselves, then it adds to the quality of care they can provide. We’re a team of devoted people here, but it’s lovely to be able to give something back to our team.”

298 and the Korowai Youth Well-Being Trust receive some funding from the CDHB and Ministry of Social Development, but they have to make up their 25% shortfall through donations. While there are many charitable organisations providing vital services around Canterbury, for Godfreys Law Partner Brad McDonald, choosing to support 298 Youth Health was a simple decision.

“I was fortunate in many ways growing up. After my parents separated I saw a different side of life,” says Brad McDonald.

“I went through a number of challenging years as a teenager. Things were touch and go for me for a while, but I came out on the right side. That was down to people believing in me as a young person, supporting me and giving me some second chances. That’s why youth in this city are so important to me, because everyone deserves a good crack at life.We all deserve access to counselling, healthcare and respect for our basic human rights. Importantly we need to be treated as equals. That’s why I’m so supportive of the wonderful work these people do here at 298. They make a real difference to the youth of this city who are our future,” says Brad.

That’s what Real People, Real Solutions means to us. Our sincere thanks to Sue, Marie, and the team at 298 Youth Health for showing us around their new premises at Amuri Park, and for the life-saving services you provide for young people in this city.