We were saddened to hear this week that one of the key people who helped establish Youth Horizons, Les Simmonds, passed away last week (27 Nov) at the age of 68. Les made a large contribution to New Zealand through his family therapy work and management roles in the social sector. He will be deeply missed by his family, colleagues, and friends.
Les was the chief executive of Youth Horizons from January 1999 until August 2003 at a time when the agency was still in its infancy. He joined Youth Horizons 16 months after the Trust began on a very limited scale with two or three young people in our residential services in Auckland.
Les was working in a private practice in the Bay of Plenty until recently. He was an experienced therapist with post-graduate qualifications in Cognitive-Behavioural and Couple and Family Therapy. In his career he also worked in community settings, including general counselling services for individuals, couples and families, alcohol and drug counselling, and sexual abuse counselling for males. Les has also co-authored several books, including one with Ian Lambie.
Our thoughts are with his whānau and colleagues at this time.
- Marion Heeney, Youth Horizons Chief Executive