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Launch of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Disability Issues

14 February 2008 Media Statement

Launch of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust

Disability Issues Minister, Ruth Dyson, today welcomed the launch of the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust.

The Trust has been created from the historic “Patient’s Recreation Fund”, which was a general fund created from the interest on individual institutionalised psychiatric and psychopaedic patient trust funds.

The money was originally intended to be used for the good of all patients, however, in the late 80s this practice was stopped, the funds frozen and interest returned to patients where possible.

“The practice may have been well meant, but it reflected beliefs that were prevalent at the time: that institutions always knew what was best for their residents; and that people with experience of mental health, and people with intellectual or learning disabilities, did not need to be involved in decisions about issues concerning them,” said Ruth Dyson.

“The Trust’s advocacy reflects the vision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy, of an inclusive society that highly values the lives of disabled people and continually enhances their full participation,” said Ruth Dyson.

The Trust board has seven members; four of whom are consumers of mental health or intellectual disability services.

The Trust expects to give $300,000 annually in grants for projects run by or for people who use mental health or intellectual disability services as part of the trusts overall aim to help improve support for former and current mental health patients.

The first round of grants this year is expected to go towards charitable organisations that will raise public awareness of the legacy of institutionalisation.

ENDS

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