Parliamentary recognition for southern volunteer

Lorenzo Chambers (left) and Andrew Little.

by PETER OWENS

St Peter’s College in Gore has a long tradition of assisting in volunteer work among people with disabilities in the South. The college community and the people of Central Otago were delighted at the recent recognition by Parliament of the voluntary work of Lorenzo Chambers, a student at the college. At the end of August, he was presented with a framed certificate at the Minister of Health’s Volunteer Awards in Wellington.

Health Minister Andrew Little presented the certificate to Lorenzo in recognition of the care and support he gave young adults and children with disabilities in Arrowtown, where he lives. While Lorenzo, 16, is a weekly boarder at St Peter’s College’s Rosmini House, he travels back to his family home at Arrowtown at weekends and holidays.

Lorenzo, who said he is delighted to have been presented with the award, spends his time at home in Arrowtown, assisting young people and children in the region who have disabilities. He does this on behalf of the Living Options and Hugo Charitable Trust. Each of those organisations provides a range of services. However, the care and support of people with disabilities is primary.

Lorenzo, who has undertaken volunteer work at both organisations over the last three years, helps the young adults and children with paint and paper artwork, ball games outside and other activities. This is quite difficult work, and can be quite exhausting for volunteers in this field. He was nominated for the Volunteer Awards by Living Options chief executive Alison Wildey and her daughter Olivia Wildey, who is operations manager.

His grandparents, Mark and Maryanne Owens, of Arrowtown, Olivia Wildey and Hugo Charitable Trust chief executive Aoibheann Monaghan, all accompanied Lorenzo to the ceremony in Parliament’s Grand Hall. There were more than 200 people in attendance at the ceremony.

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