Well it is the 1st week of term 2, where has the year gone!

I am finally sitting down with the intention of giving a progress report of the happenings in my life and the HEART Programme. Recently a friend and sponsor of the programme, Peter Dodd, gave me a gentle reminder of the importance of regular communication. Thank you Peter!

The programme runs currently on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday. The children vary in ages and bring with them a variety of challenges, even if it is just trying to say their names – Tu Kotahi Leikyn Hill – Te Hira. We call him “Tuks” for short.

We run the programme here at Serenity and it has become a family affair with all hands on deck. We are using the four horses Isis, Magic, Beau and Merlin daily and they seem to be enjoying the work. Recently, we had three young men come out to work with the horses, they are all part of the Paralympic Team and their ages were from 29 to 35. One has Downs Syndrome and was so frightened of the horses he could not stop shaking and by the time they were leaving he was running around with Isis and the other boys and horses.

Miracles happen every day and I am blessed to see what joy and love the horses bring to the children and vice versa.

Mathew and Steven are still with us and they are both turning 17 this year. Steven is still at school, he is enjoying design and computers. Mathew is helping Cornelius with the lawns, Bill with the horses and me with the programme when he is home. They both are great kids and I am well and truly the short one around here. Halo the boxer is always on hand to assist and all the children love her gentle nature and funny antics.

It is so rewarding to see past students of the programme doing so well and being able to see there is hope for them in the future. I am so proud of their efforts and I enjoy their visits and calls. Once a HEART kid always a HEART Kid you can’t get rid of me that easily.

I think financially things are tough for everyone and it is with great gratitude I thank those who continue to support the programme and the work we are doing. Every little bit helps and your prayers are always a bonus. If any of you know anyone looking for an amazing speaker for their work or conference, don’t forget about me. Speaking assignments are a great way on bring in money for the programme and they get the tax benefit, a win-win situation.

We are desperately looking for more sponsors so PLEASE forward on our newsletter to anyone that could help. We are not a government funded programme so you are solely reliant on donations and sponsorship.

I am slowly getting the hang of my new laptop and broadband and I am getting lessons from my granddaughter Taylar every now and then. I have such a blessed life filled with amazing people. Thank you for being one of them.

The children are measured using the chart shown below. Most of the children would score very low in all 7 abilities at the start of the programme and many feel that nothing will ever change. We have an opportunity to show them that there is hope and that they are loved no matter what.

Being non-judgmental is the key to success and being a role model helps them develop confidence and starts to open doors. I know that as a child I would have scored very low on this chart and these wonderful children remind me every day there is hope for us all to have a better future filled with love and joy.

How would you score?


Key Ability                                                                                                    Very Low                    Very High
To Hope
The feeling that everything is going to be okay                             1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Empathize
Can feel how others feel                                                                           1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Control Impulse
Acts without thinking things through                                                 1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Regulate Moods
Finds it hard stay positive                                                                        1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Persist against Frustration
Gives up easily and stops trying                                                            1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Motivate One’s Self
Does things without being asked                                                          1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

To Delay Gratification
Shows patience and can wait for reward/result                             1        2         3 4 5 6 7 8 9        10

For those of you that have heard me speak you might enjoy today’s message: “Never forget you give but to yourself. Those who understand what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice.”

I hope you and your family are well and enjoying life.

Arohanui & God Bless

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