Return To Work

Return to Work service


How we can help stroke survivors in Auckland and Christchurch get back to work.


Returning to work - part of your recovery

Being in paid work is important to us. As well as giving financial independence it has many other benefits. Work builds our confidence and self-esteem and improves our sense of wellbeing. It gives us social contact and structure in our daily lives. It’s good to start preparing to return to work early in your rehabilitation and recovery. 

Volunteering can also be a useful step towards paid work. This is a good option to consider if paid work is not immediately available. Most volunteer roles have training and workplace support.


Getting back to work after a stroke can be a challenge, but it can be done

Some people have a job they can return to, others need to find or train for a new job. It can make a big difference to have help to get you back to work and support you once you start working.
The Stroke Foundation’s Return to Work service provides expertise and support to guide you through this process.

The service is free. It is for all ‘working age’ stroke survivors in the Greater Auckland and Canterbury regions. (Other sources of help for getting back to work if you are not in these regions can be found at the bottom of this page or by contacting one of our Community Stroke Advisors.)
Contact us if you want to join our Return to Work service or find out more about it. A Return to Work Advisor will get in touch and talk with you about it.


How the service works

A Return to Work Advisor will carry out a full assessment to learn about your skills, your Return to Work goals, and what’s stopping you working just now.
We’ll then prepare a plan with you to help you achieve your Return to Work goals. This will be tailor-made for you.
It may include:

  • mentoring

  • referral to other agencies for expert support

  • ideas for retraining and skill development

  • help with your CV and

  • support with your job search and interview skills.

While you’re working through your plan, your advisor will also be working with your current employer or potential employers to find job opportunities for you. We’ll talk with the employer so they can give you the right support to make your return as easy as possible. 

When both you and a potential employer are ready for your return to work, our advisor supports and monitors your return. You may start part time and then build up to full time. This support ensures the best outcome for you and your employer.


How long does this take?

It’s good to start working with the Return to Work service as soon as you can. It may take you up to 6 months to work through your plan. Your advisor will continue to support you until you’re settled into your job. Each person is different.


A successful service

Our Return to Work Advisors supported 210 stroke survivors in the last 12 months, providing them assistance and advice about returning to gainful employment.

45% of those who joined the programme achieved re-employment. Successes have included returning to full time or part time work, starting to study and volunteering in the local community.


Contact our Return to Work service

Download our referral form here.


Auckland Return to Work Advisors


Phone 09 475 0070

Heather Patton
09 475 0070

Rose Ewing
09 475 0070


Tauranga Return to Work Advisor

Jessica Copperwaite

P: 07 834 1222

M: 027 358 7755


Christchurch Return to Work Advisor 

Amy Church
027 535 8393


This service is funded by the Ministry of Social Development




Other sources of help for getting back to work

Employment services

Work and Income
Mainstream Employment Programme information

Workbridge website

Work and Income
Work and Income website

Financial assistance

Work and Income
Financial assistance online application and information


Other employment support services in various regions


Please help us today

Stroke devastates lives. 
Help us rebuild the lives of New Zealanders who experience the impact of stroke. Together, we can give them hope.