James Talbot walked 3200km from New Zealand’s southernmost tip to its northern cape, to support the centre’s work with disabled people. Yesterday, he was welcomed home at a special lunch.
“We are privileged,” said the Centre’s chair, Teresa Manarangi-Trott. “James Talbot has been selfless and is able to see other people for who they are.”
It was important to get as much support as they could to ensure the centre’s services remained sustainable for those who needed them, she said.
There are 20 to 30 people assisted at the centre, some of whom are provided pick-ups every week. The centre is open 48 weeks a year.
Manarangi-Trott said the funds raised by Talbot would go towards the respite unit. About $1000 has been donated to the Creative Trail Givealittle page in just the past 24 hours, after Talbot flew back into the Cook Islands.
But the $23,620 raised isn’t yet enough: they need more for the upkeep of the unit and to make sure it is comfortable for those who need short stays.
Manarangi-Trott said at the moment they didn’t have staffing for the units.
“We don’t want to do is raise expectations for those who want to use it and then all of a sudden we can’t continue providing that service simply because we don’t have the staff and the funds.”
Talbot said finishing the walk was one thing, but coming home to “paradise” signified the actual end. “The whole walk, this fundraiser, is for the centre.”