Grants look forward to future partnerships

May 4, 2021

Two long-established organisations that are going out of their way to include young people with intellectual disabilities have attracted partnership funding from the IHC Foundation.

Recent grants to Outward Bound and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award acknowledge their strong values of inclusion and their ability to respond to people with intellectual disabilities, says IHC Foundation Executive Director Jan Dowland.

She says both programmes fit with the foundation’s strategy to put greater emphasis on the development of people as leaders.

Outward Bound received $30,000 for its Youth Horizons programme, a new adapted course for young people with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental conditions. This paid for scholarships for 11 high-school students aged between 15 and 20 years to attend the 2021 Outward Bound Horizons course in Marlborough Sounds.

“In January, 11 enthusiastic secondaryschool students, with an intellectual or developmental disability, stepped foot on the shores of Anakiwa and came together to form Blake Watch,” says Karla Paotonu, Funding Development Manager.

“Thanks to the generous grant from the IHC Foundation, students were able to experience tramping, camping, sea journeys, water challenges, rock climbing and high ropes over five incredible days. Working in a supportive environment, accompanied by three Outward Bound instructors and two support workers, these students developed teamwork, problem-solving, communication and decision-making skills. They were also able to explore and build confidence in their abilities.”

Participant Harry Baylis, 16, enjoyed the challenge. “I had a great time doing things I hadn’t done before and being away without my Mum. I worked out how to walk across a log over water. I would have never done this before.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award received $20,000 to expand its programme to young people from 14 to 24 years with intellectual disabilities in Auckland. This builds on a recent pilot programme in Wellington and the launch of the ‘Dukies Awards’.

The Dukies is the Special Olympics Duke of Edinburgh club and in November last year it celebrated the success of 27 individuals who had completed sections of the Duke of Edinburgh award. The special guest speaker was a 2020 winner of the gold award, Hamish Gilbert from Havelock North.

Karen Ross, National Director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, says the goals are to create a community where people with intellectual disabilities can flourish and for the award to be part of a journey that any young New Zealander can do. “We are equipping all rangatahi in New Zealand, irrespective of ability.”

She says the grant will provide the opportunity to establish a base in Auckland, working with schools, community service providers and agencies, and hopes to establish a ‘Dukies’ style delivery for young people with intellectual disabilities. They are hoping to be up and running in May.

Caption: The Youth Horizons Blake Watch explores the Marlborough Sounds.