Whitford Brown Community Trust is a charitable trust partially funded by the Ministry of Social Development to provide Community Participation and Inclusion services as well as Transition Services for people with a disability.
The organisation was started in 1979 as a sheltered workshop. Our prime purpose these days is to engage the clients in community participation activities within the area as well as vocational activities that help to build lifeskills and independence. Most of our Clients originate from within the Porirua area but as we are a free service and accept anybody who needs us we also currently have several Clients from outside the area such as the Hutt Valley. Our client base usually hovers around the 45+ mark but with current changes in the local disability sector we seem to be getting new clients regularly, particularly school leavers.
In 2021 we now provide Transition Services which supports school leavers to transition from school and school programmes to adulthood services and programmes. This service is for school students who have ORS funding and are in their final year of school.
The range of disabilities is varied incorporating a number of mental health and intellectual disabilities;
The ethnic representation is likewise varied with Maori, Pacific Island, European and Asian making up the group of clients that we provide service to. Our activities here at the base include involving clients in many regular activities such as cooking, literacy, numeracy, self- confidence, interpersonal skills, personal hygiene and shopping. We also offer vocational training and daily living skills. We also provide activities such as Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Church Group, Culture Group, Candle making, Tai Chi, Aerobics and many more.
A lot of activities are with organisations in the community providing opportunities to integrate with society. Our staff and volunteers facilitate activities for those interested and able to participate. The programme is regularly updated to reflect what goals and interest the clients have. We also encourage Clients to be involved in local Special Olympics evening sessions (Football, Basketball and Swimming). We also have several clients involved in Saturday Tenpin Bowling. At present we also do a candlemaking job for National Candles.
We are committed to meeting the obligations of the NZ Disability Strategy 2016-2026, Enabling Good Lives principles, Treaty of Waitangi and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly the rights of disabled people to live independently and be included in the community (Article 19).