Josh draws a blank with job hunting

By Hannah Norton

Joshua Cooke is an eager-beaver job-seeker.

The 18-year-old, who has Down syndrome, has just moved to Whangarei with his family and is searching for a job.

His mother Sharon said so far he's trawled the internet, gone into banks and sent letters to all the real estate companies, all in the effort of finding employment.

The family relocated from Dunedin to Maunu in December when Mrs Cooke's husband got a job in Whangarei.

Mrs Cooke said Josh had a job working part-time as an office helper at Edinburgh Realty in Dunedin for a year after finishing school and he really enjoyed it.

"Josh is very methodical and he enjoyed doing the tasks like putting photo books and flat packs together," she said.

Josh said he liked helping out the real estate agents and got a good reference from them.

"I loved my job and the people I worked with loved me. I want to find a job here but I have not had any luck yet and I am getting bored."

Mrs Cooke said her son missed the natural support of living in a community, going to school and being part of clubs that he belonged to in Dunedin.

Although here he does make scones on a Tuesday through IDEA services and attends an art class on Thursdays at the Quarry Arts Centre, she said.

He had already sold some of his artwork, she said.

Josh also has another trait that could be beneficial to employers, says his mum.

He is strong from powerlifting, an ability that helped when it came to shifting things at the office where he previously worked.

And that's another reason why Josh wants a job. He's heading back to Dunedin in November to compete in weightlifting for the Special Olympics and has to fund his own way.

If you can help Josh with a job, or can point him in the right direction, email the family at

- Northern Advocate

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