Renaissance was born in 2001 from very humble beginnings…..my garage to be precise!
The decision to establish Renaissance and provide the service in the way we do was greatly inspired by a group of young disabled people from Auckland, in particular, Martin Williams. Martin was determined to live in his own place and never have to go into institutional care again. He didn’t let his muscular dystrophy stop him from attaining his dream, which in 2001 became a reality. Martins struggle with bureaucracy from every angle in his fight to achieve what for most people would be considered the ‘norm’, made Barry and I very angry. It took two years for Martin, his family, his friends and numerous support people to get the house and the supports in place. Sadly Martin passed away, but not before achieving his dream.
It was Martin Williams determination that turned our anger into a decision to set up a Supported Living service then and there. Our dream was to make the process of growing up, leaving home to go flatting, having friends, socialising, working and settling down with someone you love, just as common and acceptable for disabled people as it is for the rest of the population.
So, from my garage, to one of the largest providers of Supported Living services in New Zealand, Renaissance is now assisting over 200 disabled people a year to live their dream.
Thanks to all the disabled people we work with for your determination and courage. A big thank you to our great staff team who continue to be passionate about what we are trying to achieve and for striving to make our dream a reality for all!