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IHC seeks young volunteers

Media release
1 December 2008

International Volunteer Day
5 December 2008

IHC seeks young volunteers

IHC is raising its profile on social networking websites to find young people who want to get to know someone with an intellectual disability.

IHC is putting up information about its volunteering programme on websites such as Bebo, Facebook and Myspace, and it will also be encouraging feedback through those sites.

Karen Roberts, National Manager of Volunteering, says IHC is putting its focus on youth over the next year. She says young people with intellectual disabilities want to be like every other young person.

“They want to have friends; they want to go out at weekends; they want to look cool – and they want to meet that special boy or girl,” she says. “But it’s harder for them to get into a group of friends to do those things.”

Karen is urging young people between the ages of 17 and 25 to think about joining its Volunteer Programme and making friends with a person who has an intellectual disability. Volunteers are matched with a person who has similar interests to encourage true friendships.

IHC now has more than 450 one-to-one volunteers, or buddies, working in communities throughout New Zealand and wants to expand that number.

In the meantime, though, all the work of its hundreds of volunteers is to be acknowledged with special events on December 5, International Volunteer Day.

There’ll be barbecues and music in Auckland, drinks and dinner in Pukekohe, a garden party in Blenheim, ten-pin bowling in Wanganui and Palmerston North, and morning and afternoon teas all over the country – all to say a big thank you to volunteers for the hours they put in to buddy people with disabilities.

IHC volunteers are given training and ongoing support. If you would like to be involved contact IHC on 0800 442 442 or volunteering@ihc.org.nz


ENDS

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