We were humbled to join Chairwoman of Alzheimers South Canterbury, Diane Nutsford, as she received a Queens Service Medal at Government House yesterday for her service to people living with Alzheimers and dementia in her community.
Diane has been involved with Alzheimers South Canterbury for 10 years, with the highlight being the opening of the Botanic Park Centre in May 2017.
“The Park Centre was a disused bowling club in the botanical gardens. Alzheimers South Canterbury revamped it and turned it into a community centre to focus on the 60 plus age group.”
The project was three years in the making, and in that time Diane raised $600,000.
Diane initially got involved with Alzheimers Canterbury when her mother started showing early signs of dementia.
“I approached them for information, and they only had one part-time staff member. They were really struggling financially.
“So, I said to them, I’m good at raising money, would you like me to help you?”
“When I was initially nominated for the award, I was amazed. It took me quite a bit of time to come to terms with it.”
“There is the misconception that Alzheimers is the end of life. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, you can still make a valuable contribution to society.
“It’s important we promote that people living with dementia can still live really great lives.
“Looking at the completed Park Centre, I am very proud of what we have achieved, and it’s nice to be a part of something you know is making a difference.”
The investiture ceremonies happen twice a year for the people named in the New Year and Queen’s Birthday honours lists. The ceremony was attended by Catherine Hall, Chief Executive of Alzheimers NZ.
We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Diane on this wonderful achievement.