Last Thursday we were privileged to host three visitors (Simon Challies, Maddie Smith & Malcolm Rickerby) from BrainTree, a Papanui based wellness centre for brain health that is planning to open in April 2022.
We were particularly interested to hear about this as their location is adjacent to Papanui Bush, a project that our Club actively supports with the goal of returning a sizeable area of land back to it’s native heritage condition.
Simon spoke on behalf of our visitors and knows first-hand what it’s like living with Parkinson’s. He took on a Directorship at the Canterbury Brain Collective because he wanted to help other people with the condition while also utilising his extensive experience in property development and design, establishing community spaces and understanding the needs of older people with health issues.
He faced his own personal challenges when diagnosed at age 41, and noted that the overall approach of BrainTree is to develop a centre that is welcoming, useful and focussed on the recognition that those who continue to lead a busy and challenging life do better over time that those who struggle with accepting their situation.
A Papanui Bush Oak where we will be looking at positioning a table & seats that BrainTree visitors can easily access.
The BrainTree project acknowledges this focus and plans to be an aspirational centre of excellence.  The site is easy to access, is well suited to the collective’s goals and is soon to be joined by other organisations including the Cancer Society.  It will include seminar rooms, a coffee & juice bar, a gym, a studio, a garden and an atrium.  It is also right next to the Papanui Bush area that allows easy access as the native plants and trees in this area grow and take hold.
With respect to those who can benefit from the centre, Simon explained that - for adults 45 years and older - 50% of females and 33% of males will find that they will be dealing with a neurological illness.  “Adopting the lifestyle we will be promoting halves these likelihoods” explained Simon.
So far the Collective has raised an impressive 5.1 million and are on target to open early next year as planned.
Kate thanked Malcolm, Maddie & Simon (above) for their visit and for sharing the importance of lifestyle changes as a key to helping manage future challenges that those accessing the impressive range of facilities and support services the Centre will have available.   
We look forward to being a good neighbour and seeing many visitors accessing the Papanui Bush area that we will be continuing to support going forward.