Cherrybrook resident and community services case worker, Nazreen Hameed, is passionate about making life better for people who are vulnerable.
The president of the Sydney branch of Kiwanis, a service club that works to improve the lives of children, Nazreen has now launched the Hills District chapter of the AKtion Club, the only service club for adults with disabilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected people with intellectual disabilities,” says Nazreen. “They tend to have fewer opportunities to interact in their local community and are often socially isolated. AKtion Club gives these adults the chance to serve their community while developing the knowledge and skills they need to shape an inclusive society for themselves.”
Nazreen has seen first-hand the difference getting out and about in both structured and unstructured activity can make to her clients.
“With good understanding of their individual needs and by applying a holistic approach, I see my psychosocially challenged clients begin to sleep better, lose excess weight and contribute to society,” she says. “They start to smile and look forward to a better future.”
Nazreen gives the example of 34-year-old Kiran, who lives with autism and is non-verbal, who has lost valuable social skills thanks to the enforced isolation of the pandemic. “During lockdown, he’s been stuck at home and he’s in danger of becoming depressed and losing his newly-found confidence,” she says.
“Once the Hills District chapter of AKtion Club is up and running, Kiran will be able to participate in weekly social gatherings and help with community fundraising activities like car-washing and sausage sizzles. Since he started handing customers their cold drinks at the Saturday barbecues at Bunnings [before lockdown] Kiran has brought joy to countless people with his huge grin!”
Nazreen is looking for special need members and volunteers who can help with the administration of the new chapter.
“It’s less about money and more about turning up,’ she says. ‘AKtion Clubs have been shown to make a powerful difference in people’s lives.’
For more information, contact Sreelakshmi on
0467 306 444 or email [email protected]