Volunteers needed to aid intellectually disabled

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

A non-profit organisation which looks to help the intellectually disabled has been launched in Rotorua.

Citizen Advocacy Rotorua works on the basis of a volunteer, or advocate, pairing up with an intellectually disabled person in Rotorua.

Local co-ordinator John Dyer will be matching volunteers with "proteges" according to their strengths and interests.

Rotorua is the second city in the country to host the organisation, which has been working successfully in Auckland for a number of years.

"It is an amazing thing to see how people grow as they have confidence.

"We need to realise people with intellectual disabilities aren't completely disabled. Everyone has their strengths," Mr Dyer said.

He said that, sadly, many intellectually disabled people had no one in their lives apart from a paid caregiver, and they needed support to deal with practical daily affairs.

Mr Dyer said the role of a volunteer would be looking at how they could help their protege to have a better life.

He said that could be as simple as taking a protege out for a cup of coffee at a cafe, for example, and teaching them how to pay and what to order.

"That might be a whole new world, counting out the money in front of them so they know what to do."

He said the organisation was non-profit and was based on the work of unpaid volunteers.

Citizen Advocacy Rotorua is now calling for volunteers and proteges to sign up by calling 0800 625 799.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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