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New Coordinator joins the East Coast Rural Support Trust, representing Tairāwhiti.

New Coordinator joins the East Coast Rural Support Trust, representing Tairāwhiti.

Vicki Crosswell recently caught up with Murray Robertson from the Gisborne Herald about her new coordinator role.

Story supplied by The Gisborne Herald | Photo Credit: Liam Clayton

Vicki Crosswell has spent the past 11 years supporting the victims of crime and tragedy here and elsewhere. She is stepping into a role to assist farmers who need help in Tairāwhiti, as the new East Coast Rural Support Trust coordinator. She spoke to Murray Robertson . . .

As the East Coast Rural Trust coordinator, Vicki Crosswell will be assisting with recovery in the aftermath of cyclones Hale and Gabrielle.

She will be building a team around her to handle the recovery processes and any future crisis events that beset the rural community.

“Vicki comes to us, very highly recommended, from 11 years with Police Victim Support, where she was the service coordinator for Wairoa, Gisborne and Ngāti Porou,” the Trust said in a statement this week.

“In that role she led the Victim Support group in their work caring for the wellbeing and strengthening the mana of people affected by crime, trauma and suicide.

“She was also heavily involved in the crisis response management to the Christchurch mosque attack, and the Whakaari White Island response.”

Mrs Crosswell has been described as committed, enthusiastic, well connected, and dedicated to her work.

After completing a Diploma in Business, her first job was with the-then Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as personal assistant to an engineer.

She also became a partner in a food and beverage distribution business servicing Gisborne and surrounding areas for 18 years as a co-owner/operator.

“After that a change in circumstances saw me looking for a new career pathway, when an opportunity presented itself to join the Victim Support organisation.

“I'm a people person, and a Victim Support role inspired me to be able to help those less fortunate within my community and surrounding areas to empower people to help themselves.

“It's simple . . . encourage, validate and acknowledge.

“I feel in my contribution in that field over 11 years I have demonstrated a focus on our people, and made a difference to many lives, which has been reflected in my work.

“I found the role to be purposeful and beneficial to people's mental and physical wellbeing. I assured them it was OK to reach out for help.”

Mrs Crosswell said her passion and commitment for the role grew, as did her knowledge of understanding people's needs and ensuring they understood their rights as victims.

“From start to finish, no matter how long support was required, I walked beside them in their journey.

“In Victim Support we didn't always achieve a positive outcome or get it right, but always strived to achieve the best of any situation.

“It goes without saying — everyone thrives when they work in a positive environment, and the support of my colleagues and peers helped me immensely.

“The collegiality was huge among my police and Victim Support whānau, and for that I will be forever grateful!

“My priorities in my new role with the Rural Support Trust will be to ensure farmers are fully aware of what the trust is about and how we can assist them in moving forward.

“To work alongside rural people to achieve positive outcomes, promote self-care and ensuring their wellbeing will be at the forefront.”

Mrs Crosswell has strong local and rural ties, having spent her childhood years living on a station and attending Patutahi School. She is one of three children to Trevor and Alison Crosswell.

“We made a short shift into Gisborne and I attended a city school, which I found overwhelming.

“Then my parents made the decision to return to the country life on the Ngatapa flats.

“Where once it was bare land, together my parents undertook the mammoth task of planting export-quality nashi and persimmons.

“Dad's interest then veered to deer farming which he ran in conjunction with beef and lamb production,” she said.

“My siblings and I were involved in farming chores and at any opportunity we were put to work. Old-school values like integrity, honesty and hard work were ingrained in us.

“Those foundations have had a huge impact and have made me who I am today.”

Vicki's a mum with two adult children who she has raised independently over the past 14 years.

“I have also been blessed with two of the most adorable grandchildren who I love wholeheartedly. I love nothing more than hearing the word ‘granny'.”

Her outside interests include relaxing by the beach, walking, horse riding and rollerskating.

“Also, spending time on my lifestyle block where I find comfort in enjoying the peace and quiet, not to forget a newfound love for hunting. I'm excited for the 2023 roar ahead!”

 The East Coast Rural Support Trust was set up to work with the rural community and assist people and their families who have experienced any adverse events.

That adversity can and does come in the form of financial difficulties, climatic and earthquake events, or personal problems.

The trust also provides support to those who require access to wellness services to more effectively meet and overcome difficulties.

Mrs Crosswell replaces Pania King, who resigned at the end of 2022, but came back on board when Cyclone Hale impacted here in early January.

Mrs King has continued to help with the cyclone recovery and the trust has gratefully acknowledged her work.

She joined the trust in May last year, taking the place of long time coordinator David Scott.

Vicki Crosswell can be contacted on 0800 787 254 or 021 433 524.

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