One In Five for Sunday 12 December 2010
It might be a few months out but the memories of the 7.1 magnitude quake that hit Canterbury in the wee small hours of 4 September, remain vivid. Although in talking with a small sample of people living with various impairments who went through the experience, it's soon evident that this is not a story of 'disaster in a disaster' as one headline put it. There's Tony Ryder (pictured below), who biked over to a neighbour to feed the horses. There's Gary Williams and wife Ruth who had that 'roll together' experience in bed, and without any other means of illumination, used their mobility scooter light to find their way around. They're just some of the examples of the resilience and even humour, that offset the fear and uncertainty.
In rural Canterbury, mental health and other social services kicked in to great effect. In the town of Oxford, members of the combined rural support team talk to me about their response to the civil emergency.
Members of Canterbury's rural mental health support services joint committee: (From left) Jo Ealam, of the Oxford Community Trust, Grant Cooper, of the Mental Health Foundation, Susan Kovacks, of Rural Canterbury PHO, Joyce Harris, of SF Canterbury, David Cairns, of Partnership Health Canterbury, and Sue Snell, of Social Services Waimakariri.