Strong Voices

Empowered Lives

July 20, 2021

It’s interesting to think now and then about the idea that the next generations will grow up to do jobs and have experiences we haven’t even thought of yet.

This edition of ‘Strong Voices’ contains some great examples of young people breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes and cutting their own paths in the world.

July 20, 2021

In 50 years of indoor bowling tournaments Marjorie Bloor has never picked up a ball. But she has picked up a knife and buttered loads of sandwiches for the players’ morning and afternoon teas.

This year Dannevirke celebrates a long and special relationship between its indoor bowling clubs and IHC. This is a town that has always said yes to supporting local people with intellectual disabilities.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Dannevirke Combined Indoor Bowling Clubs IHC Tournament and Marjorie has been volunteering at the event from the start.

July 20, 2021

Northland families with disabled children are withdrawing from contact with other people because of the sheer stress of trying to manage the children with little support.

IHC Family Liaison in Whangārei Jim Callaghan says families are barely coping because of the shortage, particularly of respite care that would give parents and carers a break.

The problem can be made worse by a child being excluded from school or from the few respite facilities available in Whangārei, leaving nothing on offer.

July 20, 2021

‘Stand Tall’ is a new app designed to dodge those tricky money situations – like getting to the end of the week and finding there’s no cash left for dinner.

The app is being developed by IHC and online gaming company InGame to make handling money easier for young people with disabilities who want to be independent.

July 20, 2021

North Taranaki’s old and rare pōhutukawa – at risk from either falling into the sea or myrtle rust disease – have been given a second chance at survival.


A partnership between an IHC plant nursery, local iwi and the Department of Conservation is ensuring a new generation of young plants will soon be growing on the cliffs at Paparoa Reef, south of Wai-iti – but not quite so close to the edge.

July 20, 2021

Accessible Properties is carrying out improvements to IDEA Services properties throughout the country as part of a Healthy Homes programme. This will ensure homes are insulated and heated to the appropriate levels. Assessment of properties has started and those that need the most work will be given priority. Contractors will keep in touch with Service Managers to let each area know when Accessible Properties will be assessing properties and doing the improvements. Accessible Properties is committed to meeting the Government’s requirements for providing healthy homes.

July 20, 2021

In May and June four ‘wellness’ workshops gave family carers the opportunity to connect with other parents of children with intellectual disabilities. The events were hosted by the IHC Family-Whānau Liaison team after speaking with carers who were looking for connections with others who could share their experiences. Each workshop had its own theme. In Levin the focus was on healthy eating and nutrition tips. Participants enjoyed a soup-making demonstration. In Whangārei families learned ways to minimise stress.

July 20, 2021

Donors to IHC now have an easy way to claim their 33.33 percent tax rebates on any donation to IHC – and other charitable organisations over the past five years. As a donor you decide whether to re-gift or keep your rebate. Supporters can sign up to to do this. Although there is no upfront cost, there will be an automatic charge of 10 percent plus GST taken out of the Inland Revenue donation tax rebate to pay for this service.

July 20, 2021

Rhonda and Rex started their road trip early on a crisp May morning, their car loaded with gifts for school libraries.

By the end of the day they had covered 170 kilometres and delivered books to 12 primary schools, ranging from the small, rural View Hill School in the Canterbury foothills to Pegasus Bay School on the coast.

Rhonda James and her brother Rex McGiffert, who has Down syndrome, were distributing four children’s books about intellectual disability to each school on behalf of the IHC North Canterbury Association’s Books in Schools project.

July 20, 2021

Young Wellington woman Katrina Sneath has found work at a unique hotel in the New South Wales Blue Mountains.

Timing is everying. Katrina, 25, had completed two years at the University of Sydney’s uni 2 beyond programme just in time to join the first intake of trainees in Australia’s first social enterprise hotel.

Hotel Etico is a guest hotel in the historic Mount Victoria Manor that runs a work, training and live-in programme for people with intellectual disabilities.

May 4, 2021

It all started with Timoti. He wanted to learn to take photographs and his dream expanded to include nine other people and a course with a professional photographer.

Timoti Schweizer-Marunui, who is keen on videography, says he spent most of his time filming “everything” and “everybody” on his tablet.