Mātou mema | Our members

Our members

Step Ahead Trust

Supporting people who experience mental illness by providing activities that empower and rehabilitate members. 

Step Ahead Trust provides a place of acceptance and well-being for those with a mental illness.  

Step Ahead is a non-clinical service providing activity-based rehabilitation to promote self-empowerment. The Trust aims to integrate members into the community.

Step Ahead’s main purpose is to provide a variety of activities to Members. These activities are aimed at enhancing members mental and physical wellbeing. Activities range from social groups, craft, educational talks, technology help, all types of exercise, day trips, meals and evening activities.

  • Our members must be aged over 18 years and can be located throughout Canterbury. They must have a mental health diagnosis and be able to attend independently. 
  • The Trust has been operating for nearly 40 years and is guided by member input at all levels
  • All activities are subsidised by the Trust. It is free to join.
  • A recent service is “Zoom” meetings for those unable to travel or who have anxiety about attending. These meetings act as an introduction with the aim of motivating the member to attend in person.
  • If a client becomes unwell, staff will liaise with the client's clinician for management advice or assistance.
  • Most Staff have a relevant qualification e.g. occupational therapy, school teacher, adult educator. The tutors offer a wide range of activities. Several staff have lived experience.
  • Duration – Clients can attend as often and for as long as they need to.
  • Information sharing – Consent is obtained to contact clinical staff if needed.
  • Cost – Some activities have a cost e.g. $2.50 - $6 per session. Please check our programme guide on our webpage for details.
  • Referral – self-referral, or by support person or clinician at client's request. There is no formal referral form.

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Step Ahead Trust


Julie Sparks

027 443 8659 julie@stepahead.org.nz


PO Box 32025 Linwood, Christchurch