IHC Volunteer Programme celebrated at the Minister of Health Awards

Media release

19 June 2018

We are delighted that the IHC Volunteer Programme has been named a winner at this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards. Yesterday the programme was chosen as the joint winner of the award for “Outstanding Achievement as a Community or NGO Health Service Volunteer Team”.

IHC would like to acknowledge and congratulate our volunteers across the country. National Manager of Volunteering Sue Kobar says, “This award is a testament to all volunteers who support someone with an intellectual disability to participate in their community, to try something new and to enjoy life.”

The programme is supported by 11 Volunteer Coordinators throughout New Zealand. “The award also acknowledges the efforts of our Volunteer Coordinators who manage the programme within their communities.”

The IHC Volunteer Programme started in 2006, offering people with intellectual disabilities a friend who was not paid to be there and was not a family member. The programme gives people with intellectual disability an important community link and most importantly provides one-to-one friendship, an integral part of anyone’s health and wellbeing.

In 2015 we introduced the Skill-based Learning Programme, aimed at helping someone with an intellectual disability to learn something new. This was to adapt to the change in how volunteers wanted to donate their time. “Instead of committing a year or more to the programme, volunteers could opt to do Skill-based learning over 10-12 weeks.”

There was also a recurring theme from people with intellectual disabilities involved in the programme that they would like to learn such things as budgeting, cooking, finding a job, or how to use an iPad.

Sue notes it is important to acknowledge IHC’s donors. “The programme is completely funded by charitable donations. Without IHC’s many donors, this programme would not be funded.”

If you would like to find out more about IHC’s Volunteer Programme or would like to sign up, please call 0800 442 442 or email volunteering@ihc.org.nz. IHC welcomes applicants aged 17 and over.



Media contact:

Maia Renner

Communications Advisor


027 449 9047

Pictured are our National Manager of Volunteering Sue Kobar and volunteers Jade Joseph, Tim Bright and Sophia Kennedy.