Enabling all rangatahi to participate in an Award journey

Adventurous Journey, Bluelight College

Award Accessibility


The Award is committed to enabling all rangatahi to participate in an Award journey. Whether a participant is living with intellectual or physical disabilities or managing financial and/or geographical challenges, the Award is designed to support them and give them an opportunity to thrive.

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A Journey for Everyone

There are many ways our rangatahi can take part in the Award. Check out these example profiles to see what our participant's journeys can look like.

Josh Gobbel

Josh lives in Hokitika, his school doesn't run the Award and he doesn't belong to a national organisation.

Josh does his Award through the Virtual Award Centre.


Aaron Denzel

Aaron is homeschooled and wants to start his Award to meet new people and learn new skills.

Aaron has joined Scouts (a national organisation) to start his Award.

Dani Haru

Dani is a Southland Girls High student in Invercargill. She is a year 11 student, ready to challenge herself.

Dani has started her Bronze Award with the support of her school's Award Leader.


Tom Henderson

Tom is a 22 year old university student, looking for a way to makes sure his CV stands out.

Tom doesn't have the time to commit to a direct Gold journey, so he's started his Bronze Award through the National Virtual Office.

Zoé Michelle

Zoe attends Yes Disability, has completed her Bronze Award and is about to start her Silver Award.

Zoe does her Award through Yes Disability, who provide her Skills and Voluntary Service activities. She looks for other local opportunities to complete her other sections.


Hamish Gilbert, Hawkes Bay

"Often with a disability, it is assumed that you can't do things. For example, having to battle to be included, with people assuming I can't do things instead of looking at ways to help me succeed. I just wanted to have the same opportunities to achieve like everyone else. In achieving Gold, I showed myself and others what can be done if you are given an opportunity and work hard."

Nathan Carter completing his Outward Bound journey. Group of people on beach smiling and celebrating.

Nathan Carter, Canterbury

Completing his Award through Helen Anderson Trust, Nathan Carter, a young autistic man from Canterbury, recently completed his Gold Residential section with his Outward Bound journey. A celebrated runner, he took his experience on the track into the sky and sea as part of his Horizons course. High ropes and a sailing adventure enabled him to push his boundaries and test his limits, and his experience at sea inspired his Adventurous Journey with Spirit of Adventure.

Through his Award Nathan realised his Mauri Ora, his best self – and he is very clear he “want[s] to do it again please”. Nathan’s mum, Bridget Carter, is very proud of her son for trying new things, which can be a challenge for him. “He is a lot more confident… He is very happy in his own skin”. Nathan's biggest challenge is social interaction, noise, and crowds. His Award experiences could have been overwhelming, instead he flourished. His Outward Bound instructor agrees, “Nathan arrived at Anakiwa apprehensive but excited to try the activities. He is a kind and endearing individual, who though [initially] nervous, soon relaxed around his watch-mates and staff”.



Manaaki is another valuable organisation that work to encourage, support, and challenge their disabled clients, preparing them for vocational work and voluntary service in the community, and respecting the dignity and rights of people with disabilities to be contributing members of society. 
In the last four years Louisa Kelly, the centre’s programme coordinator, has successfully run the Award, enabling these young people to have exciting opportunities and gain valuable life-skills. Louisa, an Award holder herself, knew “these guys could really benefit from this – a programme that acknowledges and understands their thirst for life.” Limits are something many of Manaaki participants are used to. Most face restrictions and challenges that have limited their autonomy, independence, and the opportunities available to them. But with the Award Louisa has found that these differences are inconsequential to their achievements. “My participants aren’t any different. It might take them a bit longer, or they may need extra support but they’re not incapable of doing the Award”. 
This is her approach for many of the Award sections.  Adventurous Journeys require her to ensure “the safety is there, with extra precautions around the conditions, activities, destinations, and health needs. It’s a slightly extra level”. But that extra effort is extra rewarding. One participant, Chelsea, completed her Adventurous Journey last year with a major heart condition. “Some of our participants are very fragile. But… it was incredible. You don’t want them to feel limited by these things. And with the Award they don’t”. This Journey was a huge achievement for Chelsea. She passed away a couple of months later. Chelsea’s mum said that the journey was the highlight of her young life.