Epilepsy NZ Struggles to find Replacement Office After Earthquake

(PR.co.nz) Community care agency, Epilepsy New Zealand, which employs three specialist information and support workers in Christchurch, is struggling to find a replacement office after the last office was destroyed in the devastating February earthquake. Prices being asked for rent in Christchurch are well in excess of the funding budget for a not-for-profit organisation, such as Epilepsy New Zealand.

New Zealand’s largest epilepsy support organisation, which supports hundreds of clients in the Canterbury region, once occupied offices in the now to be demolished Canterbury Trust Community House, in Hereford Street.

Local Information and Support Specialist, Kim McMaster says; “We lost everything, computers and resources, furniture, the lot, which we used on a daily basis to help people of Christchurch with their epilepsy and throughout the wider Canterbury and West Coast area”.

Kim adds; “We have looked and looked at alternative premises but they all want commercial rent, way beyond what ENZ can afford, as we rely on donations and grants to keep services free of charge. We were paying just over $2,500 a year for our office in Hereford Street. We are looking for a home where we can meet with people with epilepsy, hold support group meetings, understanding epilepsy seminars, and issue taxi vouchers as many can not drive and need assistance with transport”.

She goes on to say; “We have been working out of our cars and from home, which is a long way out and not accessible to many, so we desperately need a home. Someone out there must have office space we can use at a charitable rate”.

Epilepsy New Zealand is appealing for anyone who knows of any available office space in Christchurch at a charitable rate, to call (03) 379-8175 or email national@epilepsy.org.nz. This will help ENZ to provide some stability for the Christchurch based Information and Support Specialists, and allow them to continue their invaluable services to the people of Canterbury and West Coast.

Media Release 14 September 2011.