Jeremy and Justina’s story

Busy lives for married couple

Like any married couple, the jokes are part and parcel of their relationship. Jeremy and Justina have been married for 10 years which, Justina says jokingly, is “too long”.

Their lives are busy, thanks partly to the many opportunities they have taken up with support from their Local Area Coordinator (LAC).

Justina volunteers at the local Plunket rooms every Wednesday, filling bags with information, vouchers and books to be delivered to new mums in the area. Justina says she wanted to do something to help in the community and preferably something to do with babies. “I love babies – I was brought up around them,” she says. Staff from the Plunket Society say they love talking to Justina and are very grateful for the job she does for them.

Aside from helping local mothers and their babies through Plunket, Justina enjoys the opportunity to get out into the community and meet new people. “If you want to know what’s going on, just ask Justina,” says husband Jeremy.

Jeremy set up his own micro-business after talking about what he would like to do in the future with his LAC and Circle of Support. He is now a consumer watchdog for people with disabilities in his area and was delighted to win an initial contract with the local council.

As part of running his own business, Jeremy has a team of people who are there when he needs them for advice and assistance. A local entrepreneur, for example, worked with Jeremy on planning for the business and creating templates for invoices and statements.

Jeremy’s confidence and business skills have increased significantly since he first started and he is now taking on more of the tasks and roles himself. He’s opened his own bank account and runs meetings with his team.

Top of his list now is finding a new business mentor/coach for the next phase of his business development, as he is keen to offer a similar service in neighbouring towns and cities. The local council has also asked him to be involved in training new staff and to contribute to a short training video.

A highlight of 2015 and a proud moment, Jeremy says, was being a speaker at ImagineBetter’s workshops where he spoke about creating his own business.

As Jeremy’s confidence has increased, and with his support networks in place, his LAC has been able to phase out her involvement with the business side of things, leaving Jeremy well supported to grow his business.

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