Every person’s journey is different. So we help craft a pathway to inclusion that is unique to the individual and is focused on people being part of the community.

We are committed to values of inclusion and believe that all people should have control over the life choices they make. Our support is crafted around each individual to help them to achieve their goals.

What we value

  1. Making Choices

    "I like to feel in control."
  2. Being respected

    "It's important I'm taken seriously."
  3. Being included

    "I'm able to do things that are important to me."
  4. Learning

    "I'm open to ongoing learning and development."

Our Mission

To work in partnership with people, their families and whanau to assist in creating a life where people are valued as full participating citizens through work, education and having fun! We strive to help people to integrate and participate in their communities in ways that enhance their quality of life. So they can live the life they want.

about inner

Staff & Board

Management Team 

Victoria Ross – Chief Executive
Rachel Banks - Community Service Lead  Frank Manzano - Groups Service Lead

Community Facilitation Team

Our Community Facilitation Team consists of a team of 14 Community Facilitators who connect people with a range of opportunities based on a person’s interests and dreams.

Employment Support Team

Our Employment Support team consists of three Employment Support Co-ordinators, who work with people to find the right paid employment opportunity for them.

Board of Trustees

SkillWise is governed by a Board of Trustees. The board is responsible for setting the strategic vision, developing policies, setting the budget and ensuring the organisation operates within the core values and philosophy.

We are very grateful for the diverse range of skilled and dedicated Trustees who provide their time on voluntary basis.


SPAN (Special Persons Alternative Needs) Charitable Trust was established in 1991 by a group of parents who were proactive in ensuring there were meaningful options and opportunities for their sons and daughters.

The organisation operated as a Sheltered Workshop from 1991 until 2004 when it underwent significant change transitioning from sheltered work to community participation. Pathways to Inclusion (2001) provided much of the impetus for this change. At this time, Community Participation was a new approach to disability support and was based around the principle of inclusion and supporting people to experience an "ordinary life".

The earthquake events of February 2011 changed life forever in Christchurch. A few months into rebuilding the service we began to realise that an opportunity existed for us to do things differently.

Hence the Utopia Project was born. A joint project between SkillWise and SAMS (Standards and Monitoring Services) which enabled us to really put our organisational values into practice.

This equates to a model of support based around facilitation and the building of a range of relationships. This in turn helps to ensure people take on valued social roles as citizens within their communities, through personalised support options and a variety of different opportunities.

Key Information


We take our responsibilities seriously when collecting, storing and using information about any individual. Please click the link to the SkillWise Privacy Statement for more details on how we keep your information safe.

Activity Costs

The majority of our work is government funded, but we ask for a small contribution towards additional costs for some of our activities. You can read our payment terms here.