Birth­day ben­e­fits oth­ers

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

This year marked a birth­day to re­mem­ber for Richie Love­lock.

He de­cided to ditch the typ­i­cal rowdy cel­e­bra­tion for his 30th and visit three char­i­ties with his mates in­stead.

‘‘The mas­sive dif­fer­ence be­tween hear­ing about all th­ese is­sues and ac­tu­ally do­ing some­thing about them was frus­trat­ing me,’’ he says.

So the Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent told his clos­est friends and fam­ily to keep their en­tire day free on Novem­ber 8.

He or­gan­ised for the group to visit Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling, Mercy Hospice and the Auck­land Deaf So­ci­ety.

Along the way he split ev­ery­one off into teams and they had to bat­tle it out in themed chal­lenges.

At Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling the teams cre­ated a mu­ral which en­cap­su­lates the char­ity’s val­ues.

Now the piece of art dec­o­rates the fence out­side the Mt Eden prop­erty.

Love­lock says it was re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all.

‘‘It was such a small idea at the start – visit a char­ity,’’ he says. ‘‘But I knew it was the right thing to do and we man­aged to shape it into some­thing in­cred­i­bly fun.’’

He says the three or­gan­i­sa­tions were ea­ger to come on board and helped to cre­ate ex­cit­ing but rel­e­vant chal­lenges.

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‘‘When we went to the deaf so­ci­ety we had to or­der our drinks us­ing sign lan­guage be­cause the bar­tender was deaf,’’ he says.

It was an ex­pe­ri­ence that opened his eyes to the won­der­ful work char­i­ties do, he says.

Love­lock is al­ready plan­ning to ex­tend on the idea for his next birth­day.

Home and Fam­ily Coun­selling ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Shel­ley An­der­son says Love­lock did an amaz­ing job of bring­ing young peo­ple and lo­cal char­i­ties to­gether.

‘‘The art piece pro­vides an in­spi­ra­tional, pos­i­tive mes­sage about the im­por­tance of con­nect­ed­ness, hope, re­silience, men­tal well­be­ing, and the role coun­selling plays.’’

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