Our Patron - Sarah Ulmer

As a mum of two young girls and a Cambridge resident, I am really proud to be the Patron of Cambridge Life Skills.

I think that the free counselling service this organisation provides to our Cambridge young people is just fantastic – having a place where our young ones can have access to help BEFORE the problems become too big is such an incredible asset to our town and its future.

Cambridge is such a fortunate town – with amazing facilities, people and positive community. But not everyone is lucky enough to grow up carefree.

Having Cambridge Lifeskills help our children and young people achieve their full potential – in the classroom and out in the big wide world I think is not just so valuable to our children and families, but is helping the future of Cambridge stay safe, vibrant and prosperous.

Keep up the great work you guys!!

Sarah Ulmer
Cambridge Lifeskills Patron

How Lifeskills can help you

Cambridge Lifeskills provides a free counselling & child centered play therapy service to the thirteen public schools in the Cambridge district.
The counsellors work with tamariki and rangatahi in the five to fifteen years age group. The counsellors find it is frequently necessary if not essential to also include families in the work they do with the children.
The counselling service has become an integral part of the support network available to the children of Cambridge.
Being local enables whanau with students in different schools to be seen and counselled in their familiar school environment. It also allows for close monitoring of the referred students.
The counsellors usually work with the students in their base schools, negating the need for them to travel during the school day.
There have been traumatic incidents occur in the Cambridge schools and having ready access to counsellors in the community has benefited children and school staff at these difficult times.
Changes in society have meant many rangatahi are now exposed to an increasing range and number of issues. Children do not have the skills to deal with these but they are with encouragement and support often willing to talk through their personal situation with trusted adults such as the Cambridge Lifeskills counsellors. We as a group greatly appreciate the support of sponsors and supporters and take every opportunity to make the wider community aware of these generous gestures of support.
Currently there are a team of Counsellors and Child Centered Play Therapists working for Cambridge Lifeskills. 

Our 2022 Team

Below are the amazing and superbly qualified counsellors & counsellors in training we have on the Cambridge Lifeskills team:

Sarah Thomas
Shirlee Bennett
Hinemoa Reihana
Carolynn Storey
Mel Mitchell
Rosie Marx
Tracey Crouchman
Natalie Gibbons

Manager - Clinical Leader
Sandy Wesford

Our Board Members for 2022

Cambridge Lifeskills is governed by a Board - all volunteers in the Cambridge Community.
Board members attend monthly meetings, contribute constructive input into those meetings and support funding and profile initiatives, helping grow Cambridge Lifeskills. Below are our current Patron, Ambassador & Board Members:

  • John Bullick - Board Chair
  • Sandy Wesford - Agency Manager - Clinical Leader
  • Sarah Ulmer - Patron
  • Yvonne Scown - Ambassador 
  • Sherry Herkes - Cambridge Real Estate - Foundation Sponsor
  • Genevra Scott - Finance (Chartered Accountant)
  • Marilynn Jones - Retired Principal
  • Tina-Maree Thatcher - Principal Karapiro School
  • Quentin Glover - Sponsorship
  • Steff McNamara - Secretary

Tribute - Jack Reid

One of our active Board members, Jack Reid, sadly passed away in June 2019. Jack was a former Principal of Goodwood School, having served in that role for over 30 years. Jack was always a huge advocate of the work of Cambridge Lifeskills as a school Principal, and once he retired in 2015, his invaluable skills were a real asset to the Board. He is remembered for his passion to make a difference in the lives of young people and their families.

Our board member bios

John Bullick – Chairman
John has been a Cambridge Lifeskills Board member since 1997. He has seen many changes as the organisation has adapted to the changing needs of the Cambridge community. John is also an active member of Rotary Cambridge. Formally a local primary school Principal, he is still working in schools around the Waikato. John’s wife Sue also works in the education field. They have 3 adult children, and 3 grandchildren.

Sandy Wesford - Manager/Clinical Leader
Sandy has been employed by Cambridge Lifeskills since 1997 and has been a Board member since 2004. Sandy began her work with Cambridge Lifeskills as a counsellor then after 10 years moved into her current role as Manager/Clinical Leader. Sandy lives in Te Miro with partner and their 2 sons.

Sherry Herkes - Events
Sherry joined us in 2015 and is a principal at Cambridge Real Estate.  Cambridge Real Estate is the Foundation Sponsor of Cambridge Lifeskills.  Sherry and her husband moved to Cambridge when she took up the position of Manager at the Cambridge BNZ.  She resigned from the banking business in 2006 and started a new adventure with the Real Estate profession.  Sherry has 2 adult children and she and husband Tim have 5 grandchildren between them.

Steff McNamara  - Secretary
Steff is a former primary school teacher, and currently employed as Receptionist at Accounted 4, she is passionate about the youth of our town. Steff taught for three years as the sole teacher in an Alternative Learning Programme set up in Cambridge to allow young people who had been put out of school a second chance to get themselves back on track and reintegrated back into the school system. Steff has three grown up sons and three grandsons.

Quentin Glover – Quentin was originally attracted to Lifeskills due to the smart way that it works – working with young people help them with little situations, get them back on track and give them the skills for Life. Quentin works in finance and owns his own commercial finance business based in Cambridge. Quentin and his wife live on their lifestyle block just north of Cambridge with their 3 children.

Marilynn Jones – Marilynn came on board in 2014 and is passionate about the work of Cambridge Lifeskills. A retired school Principal, she is still actively involved with children as a relief teacher.  Marilynn too has adult children and some cherished grandies.  

Tina – Maree Thatcher - Tina-Maree has been a board member for Cambridge Lifeskills since 2016 as a school principal representative. Tina-Maree has been involved in education in the Cambridge region for approximately 17 years. She is passionate about child advocacy, child mental health and wellbeing, education law and social justice in education. She highly values the role that Cambridge Lifeskills has in removing barriers to learning and ensuring equitable outcomes for our students.  Tina-Maree has 3 adult children and is Principal at Karāpiro School.

Genevra Scott - Genevra joined the Lifeskills team in June 2019. A Waikato girl through and through, Genevra is enjoying raising her two school-aged children in the lovely town of Cambridge, with her husband Logan. She is a Chartered Accountant at Accounted4 Ltd, and enjoys using her financial (and life) knowledge to help the Lifeskills team. Passionate about the work that Lifeskills does, Genevra truly believes in the support that Lifeskills gives to the young Cambridge community.

Positive Early Intervention


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