The community care service operating out of Lincoln since 1979 developed from a need to provide home-based care to people living in rural areas on the southern fringes of Christchurch.
March 1977: Tai Tapu Red Cross members Mrs Patricia Ryan and Mrs Rita Sisson wrote to the Lincoln doctors asking if they could organise a local meals on wheels service.
The two doctors, frustrated at trying to get home care for their patients, gave the task to new partner Dr Gerald Irwin, who had experience of rural domiciliary health-care services elsewhere.
Their senior practice nurse attended the next Red Cross meeting (in Lincoln, not realising it was a separate organisation to Tai Tapu) to urge a concerted community campaign. Lincoln Red Cross was already providing local voluntary nursing, home-aid and meals-on-wheels service under Nurse Noeline Eilken.
July 1977: Mrs Ryan, Mrs Sisson, Miss Eilken and Dr Irwin started their campaign, using helpers to contact over 60 interested organisations. A community care group in Amberley was used as an example.
29 September 1977: 110 people attended a meeting arranged by the Lincoln Rotary Club and the steering committee elected began with vigorous support.
The aim was to provide a professional nursing and home-aid service compatible with the needs of each local community, but with overall coordination. Meetings were held with local communities to survey their needs; and with service providers – mostly North Canterbury Hospital Board, Nurse Maude and the Health Department – to explore funding and organisation.
February 1978: Tobacco tax revenue became available for community services and Dr Laurence Malcolm of the Health Planning & Research Unit offered his help in applying for a Community Health Care Grant. The Director-General of Health, Dr John Hiddleston, was enthusiastic (he became our first Patron) and Mr Tom Grigg, area representative and Chairman of the North Canterbury Hospital Board (NCHB), also supported the cause.
5 April 1978: The steering committee reported back to a large public meeting of 130 people including members of the Ellesmere and Wairewa County Councils and the Health Department. Lincoln & Districts Community Care was established and a constitution approved.
November 1978: The Community Health Care Grant was approved, with a grant of $26,500 being 50% of the full years costs.
March 1979: Two years after the Tai Tapu Red Cross members’ initial letter, the first staff (jointly selected by representatives of the Community Care Board and NCHB) and volunteers began working from a rented 100-year-old house at 14 William Street, Lincoln.
November 1980: Community Care moved into purpose-built premises, fundraised for and built as the 75th Anniversary project of Lincoln Rotary on land given by Lincoln Community Centre. Nurse Maude also operated its home nursing service from the building.
July 2011: Community Care and Selwyn District Council began meeting to establish a replacement building to facilitate clearing the existing site for a Library Service Centre.
September 2013: Community Care moved into its current 16 Lyttelton Street premises, built by Selwyn District Council with Community Care Board Members acting as Clerk of Works, when the former Community Centre land was needed for a new library. The council donated the building, and gifted the land (advancing an interest-free loan to Community Care for its purchase, the debt to be forgiven over 15 years). Nurse Maude continues to operate from the Community Care premises.
A full account of Community Care’s early years can be found in the booklet First 30 Year History produced for the 30th anniversary of Lincoln & Districts Community Care in 2009.
Patrons: Community Care Lincoln has been well served by its past Patrons John Hiddlestone CMG (1983/84-1999/2000) and Vernon Clark ONZM (2000/01-2011/12). Our Current Patron is Michael McEvedy (2012/13-…….).