New opportunities for BOP disabled youth

Recreate NZ is bringing new adventure and recreation opportunities to the Bay for disabled youth.

An organisation that provides life-changing experiences for young people with disabilities is about to arrive in the Bay of Plenty.

Recreate NZ currently helps more than 400 families in Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch by providing fun outdoor adventures, social opportunities, recreational activities, and life and work skills for people aged 10-35 who have mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.

Now, with the support of BayTrust, Recreate NZ will offer its innovative programmes in the Bay. Two community information sessions will be held in Tauranga on Wednesday, June 28 to explain what opportunities are available.

 “Recreate is dedicated to not only offering young people a quality and valuable out-of-home experience but also offering parents and caregivers the gift of time,” explains Recreate's national programmes coordinator Nicola Keyworth.

“Recreate invests more than 3200 respite days and nights back into the families who really need this gift of time to recuperate and focus on strengthening their family unit.” The charitable trust was started by a group of parents 15 years ago and receives no government funding to operate in the Bay of Plenty. BayTrust has granted $17,500 towards operating costs, allowing Recreate to set up a base in this region.

 Ten different programmes will be available, ranging from half-day excursions to six-day camps. They fall under four broad headings of adventure, social, recreation and education opportunities.

“We're very excited to bring Recreate to the Bay of Plenty,” Nicola says. “These programmes allow young people to push themselves out of their comfort zones and tackle new challenges which contribute to their overall development. It addition to that, it's a great way to improve social interaction and get them out and about during the week or school holidays.”

 Tauranga Riding for the Disabled and StarJam (which offers regular workshops in drumming, singing, dancing and guitar), will join Recreate at the upcoming information sessions to explain to local families and disability sector professionals what opportunities now exist. 

 The two sessions on Wednesday, June 28 are 10-11.30am at Tauranga Elim Church, 14 Christopher St (Recreate NZ and StarJam presentations only) and 5-6.30pm at Dry Dock Cafe, 6 Wharf St, Tauranga (Recreate NZ, StarJam and Tauranga Riding for the Disabled presentations).

Refreshments will be provided and attendees will have the chance to meet the programme coordinators, find out about upcoming events, and have any questions answered. RSVP to nicola@recreate.org.nz

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