Media/Primary schools from Canterbury region lining up for award-winning disability awareness program

Primary schools from Canterbury region lining up for award-winning disability awareness program

Calling all local residents – volunteer presenters needed so program can expand to meet demand

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Primary schools from Canterbury region lining up for award-winning disability awareness program
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Punchbowl, Wednesday 4 June 2014 

Class is in for students at Punchbowl’s St Jerome’s Primary School with the focus this week on disability awareness.  The Year 6 students are about to embark on their first session of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s award-winning disability awareness program Just Like You!

The young students from St Jerome’s are certainly ahead of the game, with 12 others schools in the area waiting for the program to be run in their schools.

‘We’ve had an amazing response from schools in the Canterbury region for our Just Like You! program’, said program coordinator Perri-Lee Sandell. ‘Canterbury Council has been active in supporting the program financially and promoting it to local primary schools, which have shown immediate interest in the program.

‘The only thing stopping us rolling it out in all 12 schools on the waiting list is a desperate need for more volunteer presenters to help run the program in this south-western region.’

Just Like You! involves two volunteer presenters, one with and one without a disability, running two 90 minute sessions with Stage 3 students. It is designed to help promote positive perceptions of people with a disability and to ‘de-bunk’ commonly-held myths.

The students participate in thought provoking discussions, have the opportunity to discover first-hand how communication and mobility devices work and even learn sign language.

Perri-Lee said volunteering as a presenter for Just Like You! is an amazing opportunity for local residents to be a part of something truly life-changing. She said the program is looking for talented volunteers, both able bodied and with a disability.

‘It is a perfect role for university students, retired people, or those taking a break from permanent employment who want to give something back to the community’, Perri-Lee said. ‘Our volunteer presenters are amazed at how much they get out of being part of the Just Like You! program.

‘We provide training and support in running the sessions, and the friendships that often develop between the presenters with and without a disability, as they  work together to change perceptions among school kids, is unique and extremely rewarding.’

Any local residents interested in becoming a volunteer presenter for Just Like You! are asked to contact Perri-Lee Sandell on or ph: 99758743

Photo opportunity: Media are invited to photograph the Just Like You! session at St Jerome’s Primary School on Rossmore Ave at Punchbowl –  11:45am on Friday 6 June.

Released on 4 Jun 2014