Event / Project details

Project start
22 Jul 2013
Event / Project end

Event / Project duration
This project is ongoing

Event / Project ID

Event / Project Name
Event / Project City
Event / Project Country
New Zealand
Preferred skills
No specific qualifications required, but you should have lots of patience and enthusiasm to help
Number of volunteers

Minimum age
Event / Project types
Child welfare and Education

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Brief overview


Assist with severely disabled children and contribute to their overall development. You’ll help looking after, caring for and teaching children with Cerebral Palsy in beautiful New Zealand. This is a challenging yet totally rewarding and inspiring project where you can really make a difference.


Start Dates

All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! Placements may be subject to school terms (please see dates below).


From 4 weeks to 1 year, subject to visa requirements.


No specific qualifications required, but you should have lots of patience and enthusiasm to help.


From £1,395 for 4 weeks, ranging to £2,595 for 12 weeks.

Full Price List and other Currencies

What's included

►Accommodation ►Meeting you at the Airport ►Transfer to your accommodation ►Full pre-departure support ►Local in-country team support and backup ►24-hr emergency support  ►Free T-shirt.

What's not included

Flights, Food, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required, but we'll provide necessary documents and assistance), Transport to and from your project, Return transfer to the airport.

Who can do this Project?

All projects are open to all nationalities. You need to be 18 or over to participate in this project


The school you'll work with offers education & therapy for students who are severely disabled with Cerebral Palsy. Some have physical disabilities, but some have cognitive potential comparable to chronological age. Many have hi-tech assistive communication devices. The school has approximately 63 children in 10 classes, a parent and baby group, plus a preschool class. They provide specialised programmes in classrooms with a high teacher-to-pupil ratio and therapy involvement in all classes. Class teams comprise Teacher, Speech Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Teacher Aides.


  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into New Zealand and you'll learn about the Maori culture that makes this country so fascinating!
  • The enormous satisfaction of also helping disabled children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market

And best of all ... an unforgettable experience! 


You’ll be working mainly as a Teaching Aid but also get the opportunity to observe and assist the various therapists as they work with students and the team of staff to facilitate student learning. In the classes much of the day is spent on "caring" activities like:

  • Positioning students in standing frame or appropriate seating in readiness for learning activity
  • Transferring, lifting and supporting students in accordance with their needs.
  • Assisting with meal times
  • Changing nappies (optional for volunteers)

You’ll also be involved with some or all of the following:

  • Assisting with classroom preparation as directed by teacher
  • Working in the class with children at allocated time
  • Assisting students in accessing curriculum and therapy programmes as directed by teacher or therapists
  • Maintaining and cleaning equipment and resources as and when necessary.

The main campus looks after the most severely disabled and there are 2 satellite units which are part of "normal" schools - one primary where the students are aged between 5 and 12 years old and one intermediate with children aged between 12 and 15 years.

You don't need any specific qualifications. This is a very challenging and physical placement as well as being very hands-on so you should be willing to work hard and bring the necessary empathy and patience with you.

This project is ideally suited to those who may be considering a career in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy or Speech & Language Therapy with disabled children and for anyone who just wants to give a helping hand.

Working hours are from Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 3pm.This gives you plenty of time to explore beautiful Auckland and surrounding areas.

  • The school dates for 2013 are:

◦                     Term 1: 28th Jan / 7th Feb – 19th April       

◦                     Term 2: 6th May – 12th July       

◦                     Term 3: 29th July – 27th Sept       

◦                     Term 4: 14th Oct – 20th Dec  

  • The school dates for 2014 are:

◦                     Term 1: 27th Jan / 7th Feb –17th April

◦                     Term 2: 5th May – 4th July

◦                     Term 3: 21st July – 26th Sep

◦                     Term 4: 13th Oct – 19th Dec

Your project days and times are 8:25 - 3.00 p.m., Monday – Friday


Anyone working with children and/or vulnerable adults is required to complete a Criminal Records Check (CRC) as part of their application process. We'll provide you with the necessary papers and take you through the process.


You'll live in a centrally located hostel that is friendly and relaxing, making it ideal for long-term stays. You will be sharing a room with other volunteers. There is a communal kitchen and storage area for cooking meals and plenty of space to relax.

 Entertainment at your accommodation includes cheap internet access, TV and free pool table. You are literally a stroll from the Sky Tower, harbor and waterfront. Accommodation is very central and close to the main train station and shopping district. Buses are also only a few minutes away to take you to parts of Auckland and New Zealand or to the many other ‘things to do’!

 Food is not provided on this project, but Auckland has restaurants to suit all tastes - the most popular cuisine is New Zealand lamb which can be ordered at many restaurants around the city and is well worth it. For meals in local restaurants, a trip to Auckland's inner city centre is well worth the effort - it bustles with activity and offers a range of choices of restaurants. 

The city centre boasts great shopping, restaurants and pubs or head over to the viaduct for more pubs, nightclubs and multicultural cuisine. You'll get to work via bus, which is close to your accommodation.

 Maori settlement in Auckland was at least 800 years ago where by different tribes built there fortifications on the various volcanoes in Auckland. When the British arrived in 1840 they claimed Auckland as the capital city of New Zealand until Wellington became the capital 25 years later. The city is modern and vibrant - fun and friendly with beautiful surrounding islands and harbour.

 Some of its more famous attractions include the sky tower, Rangitoto island, the harbor, the Hauraki gulf islands and the many extinct volcanoes that are in Auckland which provide great views of the city.


You will fly into Auckland where you'll be met by our local organiser. From the airport you'll be taken to your accommodation. Several days later, once you have settled in and recovered from the flight, you will be introduced to the staff on your project.

You have the option to arrange your own flights or we can assist you with your flight arrangements. If you would like us to do this for you, we will liaise with you regarding available flights and dates to suit you. All arrangements for your flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled by Murray Rogers Travel Limited, ATOL No. 6856. Where possible, we arrange for two or more people to travel on the same flight and we will let you have the names and telephone numbers of other volunteers on your flight, so that you can chat to each other or even meet up before leaving for your placement.

Where possible, all flights we arrange for you have changeable return tickets because many of our volunteers choose to extend their stay once they are in their destination country. Changeable return tickets enable you to do so, within the limits of your visa and the level of your air ticket, of course. If you choose to book your own flights, you should endeavour to get a changeable ticket.

VISAS: We will liaise with you about specific requirements, if any, and make the Visa process very easy. 

To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme, please click here.

We can also arrange your flight dates to give you additional time at the end of your project for travelling around and sightseeing - this is a fascinating and wondrous country!


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