Awards bring joy for quake-hit caregiving family.

December 2016

Life has dealt some tough blows for caregiver Jules Wallace and her family. The Kaikoura earthquake destroyed their Waiau home and most of their possessions. The quake followed the loss of two of their children, one to cot death and another in a tragic farm accident.

But, at the start of the month, the family had cause to celebrate, as grandchildren 18 year old Troy and 17 year old Nada Simmonds were awarded scholarships at the annual William Wallace Awards in Wellington.

img_6036Watching the teenagers receive the awards at the Te Papa ceremony, 60 year old Jules says was thinking how blessed she is.

“I’ve been really emotional today and I’m not normally – I think it is just that love that aroha is big,” she says.

Jules and husband Peter fought for six years to reunite the siblings in their home, after they were taken into care and separated as toddlers.

“Because of the hardship they’ve strived to get where they are,” she says.

“We’ve had so much support. We’ve had amazing social workers, an amazing team that I call our whanau and that’s something in itself as well.”

Despite the loss of their home, Jules remains upbeat.

“We lost our house and most of our belongings, but we came out with our life. Through all of that it’s made us stronger. And the blessing is that we had another home to go to. We got offered a home the same day we lost our home – so we feel very grateful. It’s just brought us to another place in our lives – to appreciate everything we have.”

Find out more about Nada and Troy’s story here.

Find out more about helping Jules and Peter Wallace recover from the quake here.

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