About CCI Support
Welcome to the Complex Chronic Illness Support website. Our vision is to “Empower People Towards Wellness” and our purpose is to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from a complex chronic illness, their caregivers and family/whanau.
We know that people with complex chronic illnesses with our support can have a fulfilling and rewarding life, and with time actively contribute to their community.
We provide many resources to our members including our innovative award winning “Towards Wellness” Programme. We work with sufferers, their families and their community providing practical tools and developing strategic plans on how to improve their wellbeing and find their next steps towards wellness and ultimately recovery.
Illnesses We Support
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME)
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, has been described as an abnormal immune system response to any number of infectious or environmental triggers, causing a long term illness that can result in significant disability.
Main symptoms include:
- Persistent and overwhelming fatigue
- Flu-like symptoms
- Light, noise and chemical sensitivities including food intolerances
- Muscle pain
- Poor digestion
- Cognitive dysfunction and concentration
- Sleep disturbance
- Orthostatic intolerance
- Dysregulated temperature control.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, widespread pain, and tenderness throughout the body and often co-exists with CFS/ME and/or many of the symptoms of this condtion. People with Fibromyalgia generally experience pain in specific points around the body and these points are used as a gauge for diagnosis.
The points around the body are:
- Back of the head
- Area between the shoulders
- Front of the neck
- Top of the chest
- Outside of the elbows
- Top and sides of the hips
- Insides of the knees.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
Dysautonomia is a term for a group of diseases that include postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). In these conditions the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is dysregulated which can lead to blood pressure problems, heart problems, trouble with breathing and swallowing, and erectile dysfunction in men.
Main symptoms include:
- Lightheadedness and fainting
- Heart palpitations
- Exercise intolerance
- Diminished concentration
- Tremulousness (shaking)
- Coldness or pain in the extremities
- Chest pain and shortness of breath.
Qualified Support Field Officers
To work with each member providing education and assistance in actively managing their illness and improving their well-being.
Towards Wellness Programme
The best of research-based knowledge into an easy-to-understand package to help sufferers begin to find their next steps towards wellness.
Support for meetings with health practitioners / WINZ / family members.
Various guest speakers, presentations, events.
Group Support Meeting
Opportunity to have monthly group catch-ups with our Field Officers and other members to share ideas and support one another.
Linking to the latest research and programme information.
Where members and whanau can do their own informed research.
Towards Wellness Programme
To learn foundation principles to assist participants to navigate the ME/CFS/FM journey and create an individual road-map to support increasing health and wellness.
Endorsed by NZ’s leading authority on CFS/ME in NZ, Doctor Ros Vallings.
Two hours fortnightly (in total 10 workshops) based at the premises of Tauranga Counselling Services, with a follow-on 5 workshops to reinforce key learnings and equip participants with the skills to run their own group independently moving forward.
- Tina Richards (Field Officer)
- Kira Follas (Field Officer/Qualified Counsellor)
- Nutritional Coach
- General Practitioner
Towards Wellness - Series One
- ME Basics 1 – Understanding the Condition
- ME Basics 2 – Systems & Phases
- Pacing – Balancing Activity & Rest
- Stress Management – Calming a Maladaptive Stress Response
- The Journey of Acceptance
- Pain Management / A GP’s Perspective
- Nutrition / Gut Health
- Restorative Movement
- Sleep / Building Your Support Network
- The Foundational Principles to Support Healing
Towards Wellness - Series Two
- Mind-Emotion Connection
- Healing vs Stressed States
- Resting as a Strength
- Expressing Your Needs
- Continuing independent group work moving forward
At Complex Chronic Illness Support Inc we have a good and valuable supply of various types of resources on hand for members to borrow at any time, newsletters, books, booklets from NZ, Australia and the UK, and some very good DVDs. We are working hard to keep all the information that comes into our office up-to-date and so items in this section may change from time to time as new and current articles get posted and supersede existing ones.
Meet Our Board
Barbara Whitton President
My name is Barbara Whitton and my background is within the local government sector where I have held a variety of roles. I currently work as the Customer Relationships Manager for the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
Jean Scoullar Vice-President & Treasurer
My name is Jean Scoullar and I have been on the Board of Trustees for ME/CFS Support (BoP) for eight years. I have been the Chairperson for two and a half years and prior to that deputy Chairperson for four years.
Jacqui Bassett Board Member
Some of you will already know Jacqui Bassett who, until recently was the Manager of ME/CFS Support BOP
Steve Napier Board Member
Hi, I’m Steve Napier. I have been a professional director since 2010, after previously being a share-broker and fund manager.
After having three separate experiences of ME/CFS and gaining an appreciation of the difficulties faced with this illness, I was keen to help out with governance at CCI Support, as a way of helping people with complex chronic illnesses within our community.
Andrea Macfarlane Board Member
Hi, my name is Andrea Macfarlane and I’m a BOP local. I’m currently working as a part time solicitor for an excellent law firm in Tauranga after a long stint as a stay at home mum. I completed a Bachelor of Management Studies and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Waikato and I am also a chartered accountant.
Pauline Pibworth Board Member
Meet Our Team
Michelle Fraser Manager
Hi, I’m Michelle Fraser, newly appointed manager of CCI Support. I have over 25yrs experience working in corporate & government organisations and feel honoured to be part of the CCI Support team.
Tina Richards > Field Officer
Hi! I’m Tina Richards, field officer for the Western Bay region of ME/CFS Support (BoP), covering Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, up to Waihi, Waihi Beach, and across to Te Puke and Pukehina Beach.
Kira Follas > > > Field Officer
Hi everyone, For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kira and I have been working alongside our young members over the past year as a Field Officer for our organisation.
Elizabeth McGougan - EBoP Field Officer
Hi, I’m Elizabeth McGougan, based in Whakatane as your EBoP Field Officer. I am excited about joining CCI Support in this role and have been a member of the organisation since my ME/CFS diagnosis in 2005. My aim is to increase awareness within the community of complex chronic illness and grow the local EBoP membership.
Jeremy Nixon – IT Support
Bradley Simmonds – Fundraising & Research
Joanne Palmer Accounts & Administration
Hi, my name is Joanne Palmer. I am the office administrator at ME/CFS Support (BoP) Inc.
Initially I joined the team in March 2015 as a volunteer for a few hours a week and the hours steadily grew.
Complex Chronic Illness Support Incorporated is a registered charity supporting people with complex chronic illnesses. We rely on the generosity of funders and donations to continue to support and help improve the quality of life of our members, their caregivers and family/whanau.
We are approved by Inland Revenue as being for charitable purposes, so any donation of $5.00 or greater qualifies to be included in your annual tax return as a rebate.
To make a donation via internet banking, our details are:
Account Name: Complex Chronic Illness Support Inc.
Account Number: 38-9014-0140507-00
Or, we can also accept donations in person, or you are able to post your donation by cheque to:
Complex Chronic Illness Support Inc.
56 Christopher Street
Thank You To Our Supporters
A Special Thank You to the Legacy Of Nicola Evans
Nicola battled bravely with ME throughout the later years of her life and was cruelly taken by cancer at only 53 years of age. Prints of her paintings are available for sale via her website here, with all proceeds going to Complex Chronic Illness Support. This is Nicola’s legacy to us all.