Friendshift was started by Emma Andrew’s and along with Thady McFarlane, drive the not-for -profit initiative helping to rally young people to be involved. Emma and Thady are alumni of the TSS Sony Camp and are now on the organising committee, integral to the smooth running of the annual special needs camp.
Emma explains Friendshift as a volunteer organisation about creating friendships between people with and without special needs that shift focus away from disability and limitation. Each month, a group of volunteers take a child with a disability to the park or movies or even just stay at home and paint nails and have a ‘girls’ day.
“It’s important to get that kind of social development going because in a lot of special needs families, they have their family, their school and maybe a few family friends and that is their entire social circle – whereas we have a lot more freedom to go out and meet people. They don’t have that opportunity.”
“Don’t see a child with a diagnosis; see a child who needs a friend. I’m really looking for people who are passionate about people,” Emma said.
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