NECA is a community based program in Darebin, Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea which creates a one-on-one relationship between a person with an intellectual disability and a volunteer.
It is a way to defend the interests and rights of people and a way for people to make a real difference in your local community.
People with intellectual disabilities are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups within our community. They have often experienced rejection and isolation from a young age and can become disconnected from the community.
Becoming a mentor and friend really does change their lives as your involvement promotes acceptance and inclusion for the participant.
Full support is provided throughout your role, therefore you don't need any special qualifications or experience.
The level of volunteering varies in each relationship depending on the participant's needs, their current situation and goals/dreams for the future.
Common roles a volunteer can fulfill are:
- Sharing time, a simple gesture that create inclusion and self worth.
- Helping the participant reconnect or stay connected with family.
- Being a voice and standing up for the participant's rights.
- Mentoring and providing a good example for the participant.