Enliven diversional therapist is recognised for excellence

Annelize, seated with Enliven colleagues (from left) Phillippa, Davina and Frances.

Huntleigh Home’s Annelize Steyn not only completed 3,300-plus hours of practical work as well as study to gain her registration and graduate as a diversional therapist, she was also recently awarded the Judy Cooper Excellence Award.

Given annually, the award recognises a registered diversional and recreational therapist who has exhibited excellence in professional practice by facilitating purposeful leisure activities that increase the physical, intellectual, and emotional well-being of older people living in a supported environment.

Annelize, who lives with muscular dystrophy, has worked in recreational therapy with Enliven for 15 years. Her personal philosophy that everyone is diverse comes into play with the Huntleigh Home residents and staff she works with day-to-day.

“I created a diversity programme with recreation officer Phillippa Nonoa which we call ‘Unforgettable.’ It involves all residents, staff and volunteers including children, coming together in the late afternoon and having a cup of tea and a chat. The goal is to bring the different ages, cultures and mobility levels together and work towards a shared goal of making life feel more normal, less lonely and more rewarding.”

Annelize was among others nominated to apply for the award, which involved a detailed application on the topic of diversity including a written submission, a face-to-face interview, and a video pitch.

The award was presented at the New Zealand Society of Diversional and Recreational Therapy conference held in August in New Plymouth.

“When my name was called it was an unforgettable moment, I felt like Miss World!” says Annelize of her recognition. “My Enliven colleagues and their partners performed a haka especially for me, which was truly magical.”

Enliven is always on the lookout for great people to join the team. If you, or someone you know is looking for a role in aged care, visit https://www.enlivencentral.org.nz/work-with-us/

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