Chris Ruth Centre Trust
The Chris Ruth Centre is a post-school day service providing high quality, individualised community based programmes for people with Very High Needs disabilities.
There is one centre located in the old Hoon Hay Club building in Tankerville Road and another in Bishopdale, Christchurch.
The Trust was established in 1997, in order that those who had been attending the Upland Unit at Hillmorton High School had a comparable service available to them when they left school.
The original Centre was based at Hillmorton High School, and attended by four students, including Chris Ruth, whom after the centre was named. It moved to the old Hoon Hay Club building in 2005.
The Bishopdale Centre was opened in part of the Marist Western Suburbs’ Rugby League Clubroom. Today 64 clients from Hillmorton and a number of other schools attend the Centres.
The cornerstones of the Centres’ approach are:
- A focus on meeting the individual needs of the people in their service
- An emphasis on being part of the community
- Fostering a culture of empowerment and dignity for the people who use their service
- Operating as effectively functioning community
- A dedication to high standards and continuous improvement.
Among the activities available at the Centres are craft activities, cooking, massage, a sensory room, physiotherapy, music therapy, life skills and petanque.
Within the community the centre carries out a number of activities including library visits, swimming, horse riding, work placements (aim for one placement, per person, per week), mini golf, movies and pottery.
Following the February earthquake, the Trust had to move out of the Hoon Hay Centre for two months, relocating to two nearby halls. Fortunately, the Bishopdale Centre was undamaged.
“One part of our Hoon Hay facility is still not available to us but we have moved into another space in the building which is not ideal but adequate in the short term,” says Chris Ruth Centre CEO Richard Belton.
Thankfully all the Centre’s staff and clients survived the Earthquake and are still working/ attending the Centre today.