Welcome to the New Zealand Federation of Vocational and Support Services (VASS)
We are a federation of 70 community organisations that support disabled people by helping them identify and fulfil their personal goals and aspirations, find work and participate in their communities.
Our goal is to ensure disabled people are working, participating and fulfilling their aspirations in inclusive communities.
We provide the following services for our members to help them achieve this:
- Provide opportunities for peer support through meetings, seminars and a peer mentoring programme
- Provide members with a joint voice to Government and fund holders
- Provide members with information through our popular e-newsletter, as well as providing information about government policy, current research and issues
Pou Whakaaro wins big at this year's BOP Clinical School Innovation Awards
A programme which helps people with physical and mental health disabilities set-up and run their own business has received top honours at this year’s Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s Innovation Awards.
The aim of the awards is to recognise innovative health initiatives, within the region, and Pou Whakaaro took out top prize as well as the People’s Choice Award for its ground-breaking programme Micro Business which helps budding entrepreneurs start their own business.
The programme has been going from strength to strength since its inception 18 months ago, with the list of start-up businesses including a pet-casket service, delivery/removal service, lawn mowing, gardening and catering business – all of which are run by people who attend Pou Whakaaro.
Pou Whakaaro came up with the innovative approach in early 2012 after realising a decline in the number of jobs available to people they supported. Through the programme business owners are schooled on topics such as business planning, cashbook, health and safety guidelines, marketing, customer service, business meetings and goal setting to maximise their chances of business success.
Community Services Manager Shellie Goldsmith said Pou Whakaaro felt “absolutely honoured” to receive the awards, especially since it was the first time a community organisation had won.
“We were up against some pretty impressive finalists, as initially there were 21 applications for this award. This was then narrowed down to eight finalists who were invited to present their work at the event.
“It’s nice to be recognised for something that is working well and that we are extremely proud of, and I must say it has been so nice to see all of our business owners growing in self-belief and self-confidence and achieving things they originally never thought possible.”
If you would like to know more about how Micro Business works and how it is making a big difference to the lives of it's participants please click here
Progress to Health takes out prestigious award at the Westpac Waikato Business Excellence Awards
Congratulations to Progress to Health Hamilton who took out top honours in the Not for Profit business category at this year's Westpac Waikato Business Excellence Awards.
The awards are designed to give small and medium size businesses the chance to benchmark their success against other businesses outside their industry, so Progress to Health were very proud to come out on top.
"Naturally we were pretty pleased to win such a prestigious award but believe it was a direct result of the enormous commitment, professionalism and high standards that everybody in our team makes," CEO Karen Covell said.
"And I must admit it is nice to be recognised for the outstanding service provided by our staff who are all dedicated to reconnecting individuals to their communities."
Karen said now that they had set the bar, Progress to Health were set on maintaining these high standards, while at the same time taking up opportunities for further growth.
Well done to Karen and the team at Progress to Health Hamilton.
Need a Capability Mentor? Visit onefishsolutions.org.nz
One Fish Solutions (which was launched by VASS last year) is now a Ministry of Social Development approved Capability Mentor. If you have received funding from the Capability Investment Resource we can assist you with your Capability Self-Assessment, developing a Capability Plan based on your assessment and implementation of your plan in the following areas:
- Strategic Governance
- Adaptive Leadership
- Operational Management
- Workforce Development
- Organisational Responsiveness
- People Living with Disability
To find out more go to www.onefishsolutions.org.nz