By Mick Jensen
Ashburton based CanInspire Charitable Trust continues to go from strength to strength and has now landed television presenter Haydn Jones as its first ambassador.
A familiar face on programmes such as Fair Go, and the long-running Good Sorts slot on Sunday’s TV One News, Jones was in town on Saturday to get an update on the work and expansion of the trust over the last few years.
CanInspire originated from the experiences of Ashburton resident Sarah Clifford, who underwent 28 days of radiation for melanoma in 2010 and during that time created and wore a different necklace each day in hospital to distract her from the treatment.
She later established beading workshops through CanBead to help others in similar situations and to help give them a sense of achievement and distraction.
The CanInspire Charitable Trust was set up later and then CanTackle, which offers fishing distraction workshops, followed.
The workshops are free and offered to people experiencing illness, trauma and loss.
Haydn Jones said he had first come across Sarah Clifford’s inspirational story eight years ago when she had featured on Good Sorts.
He had been able to stay in her life over the years and “just couldn’t say no” when asked to be an ambassador for CanInspire.
Good Sorts had told the story of around 500 people over its 10 years and he would continue telling the story of Sarah Clifford and the great work of CanInspire.
Jones will act as a media spokesman and will promote the positive impacts of both CanBead and CanTackle.
CanInspire now has five regional offices in New Zealand and is a not-for-profit organisation.
Over the last financial year, the trust has hosted 63 workshops and distributed 421 beading kits. Some 1646 beading kit bags have been distributed since 2011.