Day gets thumbs up
Twenty-eight Whitireia Outdoor Adventure students ran a half-day of activities in Wainuiomata recently for a group of young people from Thumbs Up, a service that supports the development of people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
One group of Whitireia students planned and managed the activities while another group assisted in preparing them and made sure the venue was up to standard.
For three hours mixed groups of Thumbs Up clients and carers roamed the Brookfield Scout Camp with Outdoor Adventure students, encountering challenges designed to extend the participants and encourage them to have a sensory experience of the environment, says programme manager Jon Lasenby.
They crawled through slippery mud, tiptoed along balance beams, followed rope trails through the bush, clambered over, under and through obstacles, steered pontoons across a lake and flew through the air on a flying fox that was modified as much as each client required, even if it meant taking their wheelchair along for the ride.
Thumbs Up clients also got to experience bush trails that were hung with wet foliage and tilted in all directions.
Students supported, lifted, encouraged and held hands while learning fast about working with people with different needs and capabilities, said Mr Lasenby.
‘‘It was so inspiring watching the students and Thumbs Up clients working together and heartwarming to see the impact we had on these students for the morning they were with us,’’ he said.