Wellington Scoop

Disability no barrier in Round The Bays

Press Release – Laura Fergusson Trust
More than 70 people representing the Laura Fergusson Trust took part in this year’s Round the Bays event, helping raise money for specialist gym equipment.

Based in Lower Hutt, the Laura Fergusson Trust (LFT) provides opportunities for people with disabilities to pursue a supported and independent lifestyle. Residents, whanau, staff, volunteers, team sponsors FIND and LFT’s own walking band came together to complete Sunday’s event, raising more than $3000 towards its goal of $10,000 to fund gym equipment for the hundreds of people the Trust cares for across the Wellington region.

Robert McIntyre, CEO of LFT, says fundraising has been harder over the last 12 months, and this financial support comes at an important time, with Covid-19 impacting the Trust and the people they care for.

“During the 2020 Lockdowns, we had to close our doors to external visitors to keep our residents safe. We also needed to provide as many normal activities as possible, relying heavily on our gym. It has specialist equipment that can be adapted to meet the needs of our client group. Regular exercise provides routine and a sense of purpose – avoiding feelings of isolation from the wider community while promoting connectedness and wellbeing,” says Robert McIntyre.

Julian Greaves, Director of FIND Recruitment, gathered a team of 30 fundraisers, who raised the money and says the event combined their team’s love of running and a desire to give back.

“We’ve entered Round the Bays for the last four to five years, partnering with charities to raise money. This year we became aware of the work LFT does. We were drawn to the fact they’re a small charity, which is keen to grow and makes a big difference to those with physical disabilities. It was clear any money we raised would go directly to help those in need.

“Our team was invited to spend time with the residents to hear their stories and see their homes, which was great. We feel more connected to the people involved, and it means a lot to raise money to help them buy new equipment for their gym,” says Julian Greaves.

Alongside fundraising, Robert McIntyre of LFT says the organisation regularly participates in Round the Bays, as it offers a rewarding experience for the people they support, and breaks down barriers.

“All too often, people are marginalised because of their disability. Taking part in real-life activities like this gives people a sense of belonging, demonstrates their strengths and shows how people with disabilities can participate equally in the community. We want to encourage the wider community to get alongside disabled people and support disability organisations like ourselves – and thank everyone who supported us through Round the Bays,” says Robert McIntyre.

The Givealittle fundraiser campaign for the Laura Fergusson Trust runs until 31 March 2021.

About the Laura Fergusson Trust

LFT Wellington is an independent charitable trust that has been proudly supporting those with physical disability within our region for over 40 years. Our mission is to reduce barriers and provide opportunities to people with disabilities to pursue a supported and independent life.

The Trust achieves its mission through the provision of residential living at our Naenae base, and support for many more people living in the community. Our focus is on what our clients can do, not what they can’t do, and we achieve this in a functional manner through engagement in real life activities.

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