Day gets thumbs up

Kapi-Mana News - - EDUCATION -

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.

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