Volunteer

Play a big part in the life of a person with an intellectual disability and the work IHC does by joining our iVolunteer, One-to-One Friendship or Skill-based Learning Volunteer Programmes.

Who can volunteer for IHC?

IHC is on the look-out for people like you. We welcome applicants age 17 and over, from all walks of life, who have a clean police record, a warm heart and big desire to support others.

We offer a full induction and orientation programme for new volunteers. We also provide ongoing training with specific emphasis on understanding intellectual disability, communication and first aid.

Applicants are required to be police vetted.

How you can volunteer

Friendship

IHC’s volunteer friendship programme is about making a positive change in someone’s life and gaining a new friend in the process. You and the person with the intellectual disability choose how to spend your time together and do things that interest you both. We also support carers of children with intellectual disability and connect them with a volunteer friend.

We offer volunteering throughout the country. We also offer i-Volunteer which links people with a friend who they can connect with online or by phone.

The relationship is one-to-one. This means you spend time with only one person, so you both to get to know each other.

You and the person with the intellectual disability choose how you spend your time. It could be, going to the museum or art gallery, seeing a movie, or going to a café for a coffee.

It is not time specific. There is choice. There is flexibility. The emphasis is on being out in the community having fun with someone who has shared interests with you.

i-Volunteer also offers online friendship and connection to people with intellectual disabilities, and to family carers, no matter where they live in New Zealand.

Skill-based learning

IHC's skill-based volunteering involves shorter, focused projects based on learning something new that the person wants to learn, for example, cooking, budgeting, gardening or sewing.

You work one-to-one with a person with an intellectual disability to develop a specific skill. You set the time commitment to fit the project.

Op shops

Support us by volunteering in one of our op shops. You’ll help out with donations, pricing merchandise, stocking the shop and sales.

Find out more

To find out more about our volunteering programme, the options available, or how to apply, visit our volunteering recruitment site.

A volunteer and his friend enjoying the rugbyA volunteer and friend having a video chat

Who we are

Amanda Golding

Amanda Golding

Wellington and Hutt Valley
Brigit Bowron

Brigit Bowron

Counties
Clare Nash

Clare Nash

North Shore and West Central Auckland
Di Shoppee

Di Shoppee

Christchurch and North Canterbury
Gill Marshall

Gill Marshall

Dunedin
Julie Elmer

Julie Elmer

Waikato
Leon Hartnett

Leon Hartnett

Invercargill
Tamsyn Kendall-Bailey

Tamsyn Kendall-Bailey

i-Volunteer (National)

Please call 0800 442 311 to find out more.

Enquire now

Frequently asked questions

What is an intellectual disability?

An intellectual disability affects the way a person learns, communicates, or does everyday things. There are many different types of intellectual disability, they can be mild, moderate or severe. A person has an intellectual disability for life.

What training will I be given?

You will receive orientation before you start along with learning about intellectual disability and the resources available to you through IHC.

Orientation covers:

  • How to be a great volunteer
  • What is an intellectual disability?
  • Health and safety issues
  • Support we will provide you
  • Ongoing training for volunteers

Your volunteer coordinator will ensure that you have access to ongoing training and provide you with any information specific to the person you are matched with that you may need.

How much time do I have to give?

We would like you to keep doing what you already do so that you don’t take time out of your busy life. For our volunteer friendship programme an hour or two per week is going to ensure that you get to know each other well. It’s more about including someone in your current activities, than finding more time. As a skill-based volunteer you set the time commitment to fit the project while still fitting in with your life.

How do I choose what to do?

You and the person with the intellectual disability choose how to spend your time together, it is important you make these decisions equally. Your volunteer coordinator will work with you to identify what you and the person with the intellectual disability are interested in doing together. For our friendship programme you might like to walk on the beach, go to the movies, or catch up over a coffee. Skill-based volunteering will be more structured.

What if I start and I don’t like what I am doing?

Your volunteer coordinator will keep in contact with you regularly and is available to support and guide you. You can always contact them to discuss your role as a volunteer and what can be done to support you and the person you are matched with. Your volunteer coordinator will help you make changes if necessary.

I don’t know anything about intellectual disability. How do I find out more?

You don’t need to know about intellectual disability. It is more important to get to know the person. Your volunteer coordinator will provide you with any information specific to the person you are matched with that you may need. IHC is a world leader in intellectual disability and has a great library, which is open to the public and free to join. Find out more about the IHC Library.

When we go out together who pays?

The person with the disability pays for themselves. IHC can reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred during the time you share, for example your coffee, or petrol expenditure. We are grateful to our donors for enabling us to do this.

What happens if I need to use my car?

You will be reimbursed for reasonable mileage if it has been agreed with your volunteer coordinator in advance. We will need to see your driver’s license and ensure your car is roadworthy.

Are there any safety issues that I need to be aware of?

Health and safety is a large part of our obligation to volunteers and the people we support and we make sure you get all the information you need during orientation to assist with this.

How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with IHC. To find out more about our volunteering programme, the options available, or how to apply, visit our volunteering recruitment site.

A volunteer and his friend enjoying the outdoors together

Get involved with IHC