Plus a chance to win a $50 grocery voucher
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S E P T E M B E R   2 0 2 1
In this issue:
  • Thank you to all New Zealand's essential workers
  • Cleaners, laundry and housekeeping staff - never underestimate your role
  • A chance to win one of three $50 grocery vouchers
  • 'Speech to text' functionality can save valuable time
  • Mental Health Awareness Week  (27 September - 3 October)
  • Keep that momentum going - be proactive, engaged and successful
  • Welcome to spring - a time to declutter and clean
Kia ora Susan

Welcome to the Spring issue of Training for Good.

In this issue we focus on our mental health and wellbeing.  We also celebrate spring with some suggestions to help you with your spring cleaning and decluttering. It's also a great opportunity to recognise our fabulous cleaners.

As we find ourselves back in these difficult and unusual times again, health and wellbeing sector staff are likely to be under considerable pressure yet again. Our thoughts and best wishes are with you and your families.

Stress and uncertainty in these times can have significant and wide-reaching impacts on our mental wellbeing and we need to remember to look after ourselves.  We acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Week from 27 September by sharing some valuable tools and resources.

We've also got some tips on 'speech to text' functionality that can help make things easier when you're studying. And finally, we've launched some new initiatives to help keep you proactive, engaged and successful on your learning journey.


Cleaners, laundry and housekeeping staff
Never underestimate your role!
Those of us with elderly relatives and friends in care should never underestimate the powerful connections that cleaners and housekeepers make that help our loved ones.  Careerforce staff member Lucille Ogston was 'blown away' when she learnt just how much her housekeeper/cleaner really knew her late mother.  

Lucille shares how precious it was to hear her mum's housekeeper talk about her mum and how fond the staff were of her.  Her housekeeper told her the stories again about how mum thought she was the matron of the facility and tried to organise things from her wheelchair at the entrance way.

"The day after mum’s death my sisters and I decided the most important thing to do was to sift through mum’s wardrobe to find something for us to dress her in for the funeral.   Mum’s wardrobe was divided between Osti dresses (70’s vintage elastic waisted floral dresses) and some very smart ensembles that had served her well for the five family weddings she had hosted.  These ensembles all had a very grand matching hat - now all packaged up in hat boxes in our attic awaiting an interested person!

Nothing seemed suitable, so we decided to go shopping.  We’d make a trip to Ballantynes and buy something appropriate.  I don’t know why we thought this was a good idea.  Mum had never bought anything at Ballantynes – she was a Mrs Pope’s or Farmers dresser – Ballantynes was for another class of people altogether.  Mum had been a seamstress in...
Prizes, prizes, prizes! Did we mention prizes?
Answer 3 easy questions correctly by 1 October 2021 to go into the draw to win 1 of 3 $50 grocery vouchers.  Follow the link:
Congratulations to the quiz winners from the previous newsletter.
1.       Mercy Muridzo
2.       Ramanjeet Kaur
3.       Seema Rani

We’ll contact the winners via email, so don’t forget to provide your email address at the end of the quiz and we’ll publish your names in our next newsletter.
‘Speech to text’ functionality can save valuable time

Speech to text software can make everything a little easier when you’re studying. It can help with record keeping, research and note-taking, and save you from having to type lengthy passages of text.

The good news is that digital technology has made transcription services a lot more accessible, and simpler to use.

At Careerforce we're often asked if the Careerforce online learning and assessment platform, Aka Toi, has a 'speech to text' function. ‘Speech to text’ is actually a function of the device being used, rather than part of the Aka Toi learning platform.  Different devices have their own peculiarities, but can be used in association with Aka Toi.

As more and more of our learners have asked about this topic, we have created a guide based on using a smartphone. Please take a look.  The guide can be found on Aka Toi or downloaded here.  You may find it to be a valuable tool to help with your studies.
Mental Health Awareness Week
27 September - 3 October 2021
Mental Health Awareness Week is a great reminder that we should try to support people with mental distress and to learn how to look after our own mental wellbeing.

Do you look after your mental wellbeing?  If so, what do you do?  For some of us, we often forget to look after our own mental health.  Life can be so busy and full of ups and downs and we need to take care of ourselves.  There are many excellent resources available to help us look after our mental wellbeing.  

Have you heard about the Five Ways to Wellbeing or the
all right? app?  Read more about the Five Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Give, Take notice, Keep learning and Be active here  The all right? app is designed to help us do more simple things that help us feel good, do well and be there for others.  It's based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Check it out!

Some Careerforce staff recently attended a webinar about managing stress and got some very good advice on how to look after our mental health:

  • Do something physical – it changes your visual perspective and has a positive impact on your senses.
  • Give to others – it’s a great way to boost wellbeing because it gives us a sense of purpose and creates feelings of positivity and self-worth.
  • Have gratitude – start a list of all the things you enjoy and the people you have in your life.  Keep adding to it and keep it somewhere where you will see it regularly.
  • Self-compassion – life isn’t perfect and neither are we, so be gentle and patient with yourself and others.
  • Focus on things you can change, not the things you can’t.
  • Live in the moment, don’t worry about the past or the future.
  • Humour is helpful. Look for the humour in situations. Laughter really is the best medicine!
  • Don’t put things off. If you have a big job to do, break it down into smaller tasks to make it more achievable.
  • Look at the situation from a different point of view.  That may give you a different assessment of the situation.
  • Be optimistic. Try to find the positive even in bad situations.  
  • Have good social supports – talk to your family, friends, colleagues or someone who can help.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – this is vital to good mental health wellbeing.

Here are some other great resources:
NZIWR is dedicated to increasing wellbeing and resilience
1737 - Need to Talk? Talk to a trained counsellor or peer support worker 24/7.
Just a Thought helps you in times of stress with free online courses.
Mental Health Foundation helps improve the lives of individuals, organisations and communities.
Mentemia focuses on mental wellbeing for you and your workplace
Live Up To You helps you take responsibility to improve your own wellbeing and others.
Click image to view/download 2021 guide to help you bring MHAW to life
Keep that momentum going....
Be proactive, engaged and successful

We know it can be difficult to sometimes stay motivated with your studies when you have other responsibilities and challenges in life.

To help you keep that momentum going, we'll soon be sending out quarterly emails to trainees to help you progress along your training journey. With each email, you'll receive a progress reports, and gentle encouragement where necessary.  

Trainees with no assessments reported after 90 days will receive an email notification to nudge them to make progress with their training. After a long period of no activity, notifications will let learners know ahead of time that they may be placed on hold or withdrawn from their programme unless they complete some training activity. In these cases, please note that it is possible that you have been completing assessments that have not yet been marked or reported. If this is the case, please have a chat with your assessor.

We don't want you to miss out on these emails, as they'll show you how you're progressing.  Occasionally these emails may find their way to your spam folder.  We ask that you check your spam or junk folder from time to time to ensure you don't miss out.

Welcome to Spring - a time to declutter and clean
Many people traditionally do a big clean up of their house at the beginning of spring.  Historically, it was to clean away the mess made during winter.  With coal or wood fires being the main source of heating, they created a lot of soot and grime in the house.  With warmer weather in spring, we can open the windows and get some fresh air in the house as we clean.  

Today, spring cleaning is not only washing away dirt but also doing a thorough cleaning of the whole house.  That can also include decluttering and getting rid of junk or items you don’t want or need anymore.  As they say, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure so if you’re doing some spring cleaning soon, think about how you can recycle items that are still good and can be used by someone else.  There are lots of op shops (second-hand or pre-loved shops), around New Zealand so consider donating your clothes, dishes, furniture, etc to one of them.  Your items will be recycled and someone will get a great bargain when they find their treasure!

Curtain banks will be happy to take your used curtains and give them free to low-income families and people with health conditions that cannot afford curtains.  They will often repair and add a thermal backing to them so they are even warmer than when you had them.  Search online for “curtain bank” to find one near you. Towels or blankets that are past their prime can be donated to a pet shelter to give our furry friends a soft bed to sleep on.

When you’ve finished your spring cleaning, take a good look around, congratulate yourself on a job well done and enjoy your shiny new space!
Check out the previous newsletter issues for more hints and tips

You can look back on previous issues of this newsletter for more ideas to help you really take charge of your training journey.  You'll also find more news stories to help keep you motivated.

Previous issues of the trainee newsletter can be found

Keep up-to-date, and read more inspirational stories about your fellow Careerforce trainees, follow or like us on Facebook

If you’re having some challenges with your training, ask your assessor or employer for some advice. If you think Careerforce can help, do get in touch with us.
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