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IHC Annual Appeal - February 14-21

IHC Annual Appeal - February 14-21

Celebrating 55 Years Of Breaking Barriers

When the IHC, New Zealand's largest charitable organisation, launches its nationwide annual appeal next week it also celebrates 55 years of significant transformation for people with intellectual disabilities. Over the past half century, New Zealand's IHC has been a driving force in moving people out of oppressive institutions to live, learn and work in the community. This couldn't have been done without public support.

Today, more than 5000 people with intellectual disabilities are leading "ordinary lives" in the community thanks to the help of money raised from IHC's annual appeal over the years.

Money from the appeal goes a long way and helps IHC provide work support and training for more than 4000 people with intellectual disabilities, houses and flats for 3000 people, and support for 1000 children with intellectual disabilities and their families.

"We've come a long way in 55 years. It wasn't that far back when people with intellectual disabilities in New Zealand were ostracised and institutionalised. They had no voice and no rights. With the help of money raised from the annual appeals over the years, IHC can now help people with intellectual disabilities lead ordinary lives in the community and contributing to society. That is the best gift anybody can give them," says IHC CEO Ralph Jones.

Thirty years ago, just over 500 people with intellectual disabilities were receiving work support and training from IHC. Today, there are more than 4000. In the early 1970s, more than 500 people were living in IHC houses compared with more than 3000 today. IHC now provides support for more than 1000 children and their families, compared with 250, thirty years ago.

More than 13,000 collectors for IHC will come knocking on people's doors next week, aiming to raise about $1 million to help give others ordinary lives. Just $35 helps pay for one month's support of a child with an intellectual disability, and $15 helps to provide one month's work support and training for an adult with intellectual disabilities.

Mr Jones says IHC continues to grow as demand grows, either through people moving out of institutions into the community or through families and people with intellectual disabilities wanting more community based services such as supported employment.

IHC volunteer collectors will be out on the streets throughout New Zealand between February 14 and 21. There will also be an appeal envelope delivered to every household letterbox in New Zealand.

The IHC is also undertaking a television campaign which follows IHC supported people leading ordinary lives.

The IHC advocates for the rights, inclusion and welfare of all people with an intellectual disability and supports them to lead satisfying lives in the community. To make an automatic $15 donation to the IHC annual appeal, telephone: 0900 44 900

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