G.I.F.T. House and Sinclair House
The residential care facility was established in 1992 and was called the G.I.F.T. House. In 1996 the Sinclair House was added as a residence. The residential care came about to address a concern of members of G.I.F.T. and their parents, about what willl happen to them when their parents and family are not around.
The residential care is monitored 24x7 by well trained support workers compliant with all aspects of support of the disabled as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.
The aim is to give the residents as normal a home environment as possible. They are encouraged to be independent: to keep their rooms as tidy as they can, make their beds.
The support staff work as a team, shopping for the household, taking residents to doctors appointments, helping them manage a simple budget of their expenses. On weekends they take the residents on outings like shopping, theatre or local places of interest. In summer they have beach outings.
On weekdays, most of the residents go out to work. They make their own breakfasts and leave around 7:30 am. Their places of work are tuned to their skill levels and earn them a source of income: Altus, DRC. Others are engaged in activities at prescribed care centres like Ranfurly Care.
One of the goals of G.I.F.T. is to increase community integration and working is a great enabler.
G.I.F.T. also includes a holiday programme. These include trips to the beach house in Orewa as well as national and international trips. The holidays are also planned from a budget that support staff help the residents to save from their monthly expenses. Past trips include South Island and trips to Sydney and Melbourne.
How to join G.I.F.T. Residential Care?
Residential Care Services are available to those with intellectual disability and living in the greater Auckland region. Access to these Services requires a referral from a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) agency Taikura Trust (0800 835 4672). On receiving your enquiry we will call you and advise you on the next steps.
Our retreats comprise a programme of activities, games, music and prayer and are held at a holiday house for a whole day or a weekend. The holiday houses include the beach house at Orewa and other houses managed by institutions caring for people with disability.
The retreats cater to the two groups of members: Study Group or Companions Group. The retreats are conducted by specialists in Religious Education and managing intellectual disability. The course material is continuously refreshed with the latest techniques to build engagement and understanding.
The upcoming retreats for Study Group and Companions Group will be anoounced in Jan 2016.
How to join G.I.F.T. Retreats?
Family members of those with intellectual disability can register online for retreats at G.I.F.T. You will receive an email or a call confirming the schedule of the retreats planned.
There are 2 Religious Education programmes, one is a Study Group and the other is a Companions Group. The sessions are held once a fortnight on a Saturday at the G.I.F.T. Centre. They are conducted for Resident Members as well as non Resident members of G.I.F.T.
The Study Group is for members who have intellectual disability but can read and write and do almost everything for themselves. The Companions Group is for the more disabled members. They require a lot more hands-on help.
Each of the sessions comprise a lesson in Faith or Christian values, with music, dancing and action songs to encourage participation. The lessons also include games, puppet shows or skits. They may also have a theme, for example the life of a saint whose feast is in the month of the session. The session ends with a prayer, followed by afternoon tea.
The sessions are great occasions for members. Some of the non residents come early and have lunch with the resident members at the Centre. This gives them an opportunity to get together and chat.
How to join G.I.F.T. Religious Education programme?
Family members of those with intellectual disability can register online for the programme. You will receive an email or a call confirming the date and time of the next study group or companions group.
The formation of the G.I.F.T. programme as the name suggests (Growth in Faith Together) was originally for Sacramental Preparation for those with intellectual disabilities as the parishes did not have a programme for them.The Sacraments offered to Members are Baptism, Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Families need to inform G.I.F.T. when they feel their children are ready for the sacraments. Each member has different levels of understanding, but they are prepared for a special relationship with Jesus. They recognise that Sacraments are a special time in their lives, a time of faith and a relationship with the rest of the Church community.
The Sacrament of Penance for example helps those who can evaluate that their behaviour at some times "is not right". And they learn that they can tell all to the priest and that through him, God will forgive them.
Today most Sacramental preparation is done in the parishes, G.I.F.T. only occasionally takes children through such programmes. The G.I.F.T. lesson plan is used in some schools and parishes to help with intellectually disabled children. The objective of G.I.F.T. and Sr Jean is that children with disabilties be accepted as part of the Church and joining in the Church’s Sacramental programme and G.I.F.T. continues to promote and facilitate this objective.
How to join G.I.F.T. Sacramental Programme?
Family members of those with intellectual disability can register online for the programme at G.I.F.T. Parishes can register for a lesson plan to be conducted by the Parish Sacramental Coordinators. You will receive an email or a call from G.I.F.T outlining the next steps.