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The impact of philanthropic funding: YES Disability.

As a not-for-profit organisation, YES relies on the generosity of grants and donations; such as the grant we received from Auckland Foundation through the North Shore Fund.

We specifically focus on support for youth with disabilities and are proud to be known as the only disability information service in the country to do so.

The financial support gained from these grants allows us to continue to support youth with disabilities and their families/whānau, while also providing opportunities for personal and professional development.

We deliver this through the many projects that we offer which aim to provide holistic support for the young person while simultaneously developing their skills in leadership, goal setting and even resilience building.

We allocated the grant from the North Shore Fund to fund the salary of a very integral position within our organisation.

Jamie Lee Masters is a specialist in Youth and Disability, with over 10 years working with this demographic. The grant has allowed her to continue to do the work that she loves as part of our organisation in the role of Youth Coordination Specialist.

By employing someone with such skills, we can effectively support youth with disabilities with confidence that those young people encouraged to build resilience and develop their self-determination leadership. Through this role, we are able to create advisory groups of youth with disabilities. This enables us to create effective projects specifically for disabled youth through the process of co-creation and co-delivery with our youth advisory groups.

Jamie’s role is an integral part to this process and relationship, being the conduit between the organisation and the young people they serve. She can take high end strategies and implementation plans and deliver them to the youth groups in an accessible way, which in turn provides the opportunity for youth to discuss in-depth how the organisation should implement these ideas.

Jamie’s role in our organisation has allowed us to create and facilitate opportunities for youth with disabilities to be at the forefront of positive change for the entirety of the disability sector. Her skills in logistics and management has helped to create spaces and opportunities for youth with disabilities to voice their opinions in a safe, productive and empowering way.

This role has also allowed us to facilitate professional development, with many of the members of our advisory panel moving into roles of mentors, alumni and other organizations and advisory groups, helping to create future leaders of the disability sector.

We've been able to increase Jamie’s hours to 30 per week, and are proud to have supported her to gain her Level 1-4 youth work qualification. She has just started studying for her Degree in Youth work.

Our ability to support and connect effectively with the youth of the disability sector is in large part thanks to the work Jamie does as part of her role, and that is in large, thanks to financial support in the form of the North Shore Fund grant.

Ngā mihi
Sonia Thursby MNZM

Sonia Thursby is the CEO of YES Disability Resource Centre and CEO of PHAB Association. She has worked in the disability and youth sectors in New Zealand for 25 years, and prior to that in the UK. Currently she is an Executive Member of the New Zealand Federation of Information Centre Board, Board Member of Workbridge and an elected member of the Ministry of Health NGO Council.

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Photo supplied: members of the I-lead Committee in Parliament at the conference.