Who We Are


Member Empowerment is at the core of Step Ahead’s philosophy, and is reflected in all interactions with members. Members have the right to make decisions for themselves and accept responsibility for the outcome, be it success or failure. Members choose for themselves as to whether they avail themselves of services or not, whether to get involved, and to what extent.

A variety of volunteer opportunities are regularly available. A number of our current employees have previously been (or are) current members.

We are a charitable trust, registered with Charities Services – registration number CC22156.

Vision

Step Ahead contributes to the wellbeing of people with mental illness by providing choices, opportunities, support and encouragement to enable them to live well in their communities.

Mission

To enhance the wellbeing of people who experience serious mental illness by providing community based services that support them in their own recovery.

Aims and Objectives

  • To offer a positive and supportive environment.
  • To provide members with the opportunity to meet people, make friends, and have fun.
  • For members to have somewhere to go and things to do, a feeling of purpose and being part of something.
  • To provide members with the opportunity to learn, experience, and practice life skills.
  • To provide the opportunity for the development of work skills and habits through involvement in activities and in the running of Step Ahead.
  • To offer a source of information on community resources.
  • To encourage and support members to make their own decisions and be responsible for the outcome, be it success or failure.
  • To maintain a partnership between members, staff, and management at Step Ahead. All are involved in decision making and actions taken.
  • To work towards the goal of all members gaining something from the programme and also having something to contribute.

Core Values

Guiding principles and beliefs:

Hope:A belief that being involved with Step Ahead will make a positive difference to members’ lives.

Choice:Attendance at any activity is voluntary and members choose their own level of participation.

Respect:Consideration and empathy for others.

Responsibility:Members make their own decisions and accept responsibility for the outcome.

Openness:Decision making processes will be fair and transparent.
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Keep up the good work, consumer driven organisations are always empowering to clients.
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Referrer , Canterbury
Step Ahead is a wonderful asset in Christchurch for people with a mental illness. You do great work!
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Family member , Christchurch
I believe if people start attending from hospital, they are more likely to engage once living in the community. Keep keeping on!
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Clinician , Christchurch
I know my sister really enjoys and looks forward to the ski day every year, and some trips/day outings . . . She also appreciates the newsletter every month, and I know that gives her a boost . . . thank you for your hard work and support.
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Family Member , Christchurch
Over the time as I see consumers grow and become more confident, I am amazed. The groups, activities and support given is well received by consumers, and family/whanau. You hold a valuable service, keep challenging.
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Referrer , Canterbury
Step Ahead has been very useful for our family member. It has given her strength and confidence to attempt things she would never have done in the past. She is meeting a lot of people with similar problems to her, and they can face new challenges together and help one another by talking about it.
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Family Member , Christchurch
I think you have a great organisation. My son has greatly benefited from all the activities he has been involved in and I’d like to thank you for the great job you are doing. May you keep going for a long time, you have really helped him in his life.
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Family member , Christchurch
Always had positive feedback from clients, very well presented and an enjoyable monthly newsletter.
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Clinician , Canterbury
Your service is excellent, keep up the good work. Being able to engage people into Step Ahead prior to discharge is very useful from our perspective, for the person, and focusses them on the community, not extending the inpatient stay.
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Clinician , Christchurch
I have nothing but praise for Step Ahead . . . The clients I have worked with regarding issues have been treated fairly, with respect and dignity.
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Clinician , Christchurch