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Interview: Meet the new Support Advisor

MND NZ, Support

26 June 2024

Grandson Holding Grandpa's Hands

We are delighted to share that Rachel Woodworth has recently joined MND NZ as a Support Advisor in the Auckland and Counties Manukau area. Rachel brings with her a wealth of experience in the health and disability sectors.

As has become a bit of a tradition, we have put a few questions to Rachel to get to know her!

What three words best describe you?

This was such a difficult thing to do so I contacted seven of my close and dear friends and asked them that question.

They were also unable to come up with just three words, which we think tells you everything you need to know about Rachel! However, to summarise in three words: compassionate, hard working, authentic.

What attribute do you most admire in others?

I admire many traits such as kindness, fairness, compassion, optimism, empathy, honesty, respect, trustworthiness, bravery, confidence, loyalty…. but most of all I think integrity.

How do you relax in your spare time?

I LOVE to dance; I love to listen to music and spend far too much money on watching and listening to live music…and regularly get told off for dancing at concerts!!!  I love being in nature; being by and in the water, in the forest, in sunshine and especially in moonlight.

I am very ‘crafty’ and creative (but with a drawing and painting age of about 3 years I wouldn’t say artistic).

Love gardening; getting my hands dirty and working up a sweat……and I LOVE spending time with my son Billy but he is now in Blenheim so I don’t have as much time with him as I would wish.

Did I mention I love to dance? lol

What’s one thing people may not initially know about you?

I identify as being 6ft 1inch tall!

Tell us about your background.

I am a farmer’s daughter from Hereford, UK. Upon leaving school and being 1 ½ inches too short to be a policewoman, I did my Nursery Nurse and Registered General Nurse training, specialising in Orthopaedics and Trauma, and achieving my ambition of becoming a Ward Sister at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading (UK) in 1993 and again at Hereford General hospital in 1996.

I moved to Sydney in 1997 to work in a newly built private hospital, commissioning the Orthopaedic suite in preparation to care for the rich and famous as Nurse Unit Manager. I then had my son Billy and moved to Whangarei in 1999 having been made virtually homeless by a freak hailstorm that wrecked 20,000 homes – including ours…

I worked initially as Charge Nurse of the Orthopaedic/Trauma Ward at Whangarei Hospital, followed by a stint at Fonterra as an Occupational Nurse. Priorities change when you have a child, so I left nursing and worked as an Injury Prevention Consultant with ACC, firstly in Whangarei and then Auckland, for 8 years. Most recently I worked as a Fieldworker for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

What attracted you to work here?

The ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives who, through no fault of their own, have been dealt a more challenging ‘hand’ than I have and the capability of making a person’s day easier, better or nicer (even if it’s as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face).

Rachel’s contact details:
Phone: 021 036 0218  

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