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Our Story & Mission

The Friends of Brain Injured Children Trust was born when a group of 3 parents who were undergoing a home based therapy program with their children gathered together frustrated at the lack of support and understanding they were getting from the professionals.

They were working hard and participating in early intervention for their children, trying to make a positive difference in the quality of their children’s lives towards independence, and wanting to share the hope of the Neuro Developmental Therapy programme with other parents..

When Australian Neuro developmental Therapist Ian Hunter first started coming to New Zealand in the early 90s, there were very few support mechanisms available to parents of brain injured children in Australasia. In 1991 Jan and Jon Booth from Tauranga established Friends of Brain Injured Children Trust’s support group in New Zealand. They had 2 children on the intensive neuro developmental therapy program. They did therapy in there two storey house with one child doing therapy upstairs and one child doing therapy downstairs, involving the community daily and all the while trying to raise money to pay for the equipment and assessments yearly.

The friends group’s main function in the beginning was to act as a moral and emotional support group for parents involved in an intensive home-based therapy program. Financial assistance was not provided at that time. The friends group played a very effective role for the next 10 years, but eventually, after many years of dedicated service, the committee ran out of energy, and the organisation went into recess.

In 2006 the BICT Trust was re-established with the dream of being able to help financially the many families throughout NZ that were now doing the program, and to be able to provide their children and families with the support they needed. Also to continue educating other families and professionals as to what the Neuro Developmental Therapy could possibly offer to their family member, and help to make it possible..

We started with five trustees, 3 of them were mothers of children with brain injury and the other two were volunteers for one of these families. We all put $10.00 in the middle of the table and with little skills, and a ton of passion we set to making a difference in the lives of families who wanted to do Ian Hunters NDTP at home.

Over the first 5 years we were able to secure funding for most of the requests that came to us. We applied to several funding agencies and were able to get them involved in our vision. We secured our first big donation from the Police Auction in 2008 a grand total of $50,000.00. We managed to pull off a presentation and warm the hearts of the audience. In 2007 we secured another $60,000.00 and then 2008 $50,000.00 from Angels for Children Charitable Trust.

We were really making a difference now and more families were hearing about us and making decisions to do the home based therapy program with their children.

We were able to do so much more now to helping family’s access services that they felt would be beneficial for their children.

We wanted to empower parents and let them know that they do know what’s best for their children and that we believed in them.

We gained the confidence of our funding providers and they knew that the funds were going directly to the families that needed it.

We have been able to access funds for operational costs totally separate to the funds we source for the family’s needs and we have managed to keep these costs to a minimum.

KPMG Auditors came on board in 2007, love what we do and continue to Audit our accounts for a small fee year after year. Marcus Wilkins from Mackenzie Elvin Barristers and Solicitors have supported us Pro bono from the beginning and have been great in terms of keeping up legal.

We have several individual people that contribute Financially which help with operational costs. In 2010 we secured a contract from a funding organisation called Promotional Development Services who fundraise on our behalf and have fundraised approximately $135,000.00 each year.

This has been a huge boost for us and has meant that we could cease asking for funds from usual funding providers as it was sufficient to cover the requests that were coming in from families. With growth, promotes growth and we have grown from 3 families in 2006 to now over 80 families and we continue to grow.

Reasons why the Trust was set up, and how we wanted to help support our families who chose to undergo the intensive home based therapy program.

Take pressure off families as we understood how hard it is to do daily life with a child with special needs, let alone undertake a daily therapy program.

Do as much as we could and help out with whatever may be needed by each family, so the family could concentrate on the therapy with their child and help them reach their full potential.

We understood how difficult (almost impossible) to get funds as an individual, so helping with the Funding for a family member could take a lot of pressure off, and accessing Funding as a BICT Group was easier and more likely to be successful.

We welcomed BICT families to come to the trust with their needs freely and we would do our utmost to get the funding they need.

We wanted it to be easy to apply without having to go into massive amounts of detail, because we trust and know that parents understand and know the needs of their children better than anyone.

To continue to educate professionals and families throughout the country to know more about what the Neuro Developmental therapy programme offered and what support was offered by the BICT Trust for families..

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If you need help or have any questions, our team would love to hear from you.