Thumbs Up are looking for casual staff and volunteers to come and join our team! We run a day programme with 25 adults from the Hutt Valley who live with a significant intellectual disability.
Our programme is activities based which means you get to go do fun stuff like swimming, going to the gym and sailing. Your day would also involve in house groups like jamming out with our Music Therapist or creating a fun pirate adventure in our drama programme.
Volunteers are encouraged to think about the things they are passionate about and get in touch with the Thumbs Up Volunteer Coordinator Jill Westenra. We try our best to match volunteers with their strengths and passions. So if you are a master artist, a drama king or queen or you just enjoy being around interesting and fun people, give us a call today!
If you are interested in casual employment as a Support Worker please contact the Service Manager Laura Vonk for more information.
“I have a dream” said Jill two years ago and sometimes dreams come true. Her dream was to take the people of Thumbs Up on an Outward Bound course, to extend, explore and push new boundaries. This involved not only for Thumbs Up to go outside their comfort zone, but also for Outward Bound to push their boundaries. A special course was designed to meet our needs….
After months of preparation and fundraising, 41 of us embarked on the Interislander Ferry heading to Picton on Monday very early in the morning. The Ferry was packed with people and we were very glad we had so much support from the staff and volunteers who came from all over the world. Abi and Merryn S, went back on the returning Ferry and the rest of us walked to the Beachcomber (the little ferry) that took us to Anakiwa. After some heavy lifting of the wheelchairs onto the ferry and a 25 minute sail we arrived at Outward Bound.
We were greeted by the staff who sang a song and in return we did a very impromptu song and dance. Seth, Andrija, Bradley and Matthew P, stayed with us for the night and returned to Wellington the next day. For the rest of us we had the whole week ahead full of activities, adventures and explorations including high & low ropes courses, the flying fox and kayaking on the open sea.
The entire Thumbs Up crew cannot say thank you enough to all the organisations and individuals who have made it possible for us to fulfil the dream of taking our young people to complete the Outward Bound course. Thank you to the Infinity Foundation, Wellington Community Trust, Hutt Mana Trust, the Rotary Club Petone and IHC Parents Association Lower Hutt. In addition, thank you to those of you who purchased compost, movie tickets and raffle tickets. Thank you to all those people who made private donations through our Give a Little page or through our website. To our special volunteers Bee, Anneke & Shannon, the parents who volunteered their time, the Thumbs Up staff and the Outward Bound Instructors & team we say a huge THANK YOU! Your support during the week away was invaluable. We are so grateful for every donation and grant we received and all the hands on help that was available over the week. We absolutely could not have done it without you all! Until the next adventure……..
In June the Thumbs Up crew headed to Te Tatau O Te Po Marae in Lower Hutt for a sleepover. It was fun evening with a lovely shared dinner made by Lois. A few people went for a night walk during the evening while others enjoyed relaxing at the Marae. This was a practice run as everyone slept in one big room for the first time. There was a choir of snorers that would wake up the lions, so we are all ready to go for our over night stay at the Zoo in November.
On the 4th of March everybody from Thumbs Up participated in the Micro Triability organised by HVDRT over at Wainuiomata. It was a great day and everyone exceeded their athletic expectations in the swim, bike and run/walk/wheel! Well done 🙂
Abi, Lois & Merryn crossing the finish line at the Micro Triability event this month
In the beginning of March Thumbs Up headed out for an adventure filled camp at El Rancho in Waikanae. We had a great time and were able to get involved in fun activities like orienteering and rafting down the river. There were a few brave ones who went down the big water slide and all of us had a turn on the trampolines and played some games of mini golf. The camp was another fantastic experience for everyone involved and was the Adventurous Journey for Daniel’s Silver and Abi’s Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
After our Ski trip we were in the mood for more cold fun, so on the 22 October we went to enjoy the Dowse Ice Skating ring in Lower Hutt. For some of us it was the first time on the ice or on skates and for others a nostalgic feeling of sliding effortlessly around the corners. Luckily there were orange seals or dolphins to hold us up or to sit on. The staff at the Ice Skating Ring were very helpful and kind enough to let our wheelchair doing wheelies on the ice too!
We are very happy to be back into our Hall which has a revamped computer room, a new laundry and a large room for storage. The sensory room has been given a makeover, with a new built in desk to provide a quiet space for reading, writing or study. We have a new entertainment system put in and plenty of bean bags for relaxed Friday afternoons when everyone is winding down. The builders have been working hard and have also upgraded our side garden with a garden bed and concrete path. The whole Hall looks very sparkly, bright and fresh with new paint throughout. The renovations would not have been possible without the major support of Pelorus Trust. Thank you Pelorus, we love our new space!
We had an amazing trip to Mt Ruapehu to go skiing at the end of August. The months of planning were very worth while, everybody had a great time and got out and about in the snow. We had an action packed week filled with walking, tramping, gum boot throwing, hot pools, tobogganing, skiing, snow fights, building snow (wo) men and lots and lots of laughter. Thank you to all our sponsors for this awesome experience, we will remember this forever!