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Modelling mental health

24 May 2018

Every morning Housing New Zealand tenant Glenn Williams gets up, makes his coffee and heads off to work for eight hours a day.

L-R: New Lynn Tenancy Manager Kevin with tenant Glenn Williams

L-R: New Lynn Tenancy Manager Kevin with tenant Glenn Williams

'Work' for Glenn is recreating history, and in a room of his state house in New Lynn he carefully works on historical models, sometimes three at a time, with each model taking up to six months to complete.

A Housing New Zealand tenant for over 20 years, Glenn had worked on models in his youth. He later returned to modelling as a way to deal with his grief after the death of his wife and son.

"I could not work and I was getting really depressed. This was a way of keeping my brain busy. I treat it like a job and spend eight hours a day doing this. I come in here with my coffee and get into it. At the end of the day I feel good, like I’ve achieved something. It’s a lot of work, but I love it."

Modelling World War Two and key historical events is Glenn’s passion but he has also been known to do models for friends and family.

"I’ve done all the dinosaur models for the grand-kids so they have something to look at when they come around."

A DJ for over 35 years, Glenn has also kept up his love of music and has decorated the walls of his home with music greats.

Glenn is careful to protect the walls in his home and mounts all his pictures and images on a backing board so the wallpaper and walls are not damaged.

A popular room with visitors is the Elvis toilet, complete with a full size image of the King on the door.

“My neighbours often remark they hear people who come to visit me saying that they are off to see Elvis.”

Doing it for the love of it is very much Glenn’s motto and if anyone wants to come see and his exhibits they only need to ask, and maybe offer a koha.

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