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Ashlee’s donation will go towards resources and activities for the organisation which specialises in the advocacy for the rights, inclusion and welfare of people with an intellectual disability and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community.
Bridget Boot, IDEA Services Family/Whanau

Ashlee Granich from Palmerston North Girls’ High School was announced as winner of the Award, which recognises secondary school students’ service to the school and the community. The Award is jointly run by TrustPower and the Palmerston North City Council and is part of the TrustPower Palmerston North Community Awards which were presented last night, Thursday 26th September. 

The finalists for this Award were George Kwong of Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Annie Gummer of Freyberg High School. 

For winning the Award, Ashlee received a framed certificate, a trophy and $250, with an additional $250 being donated to an organisation of Ashlee’s choice. She chose IDEA Services Family/Whanau. 

Bridget Boot of IDEA Services Family/Whanau says Ashlee’s donation will go towards resources and activities for the organisation which specialises in the advocacy for the rights, inclusion and welfare of people with an intellectual disability and supports them to live satisfying lives in the community. 

“I am extremely proud of Ashlee's achievements. She gives her time to assist in a variety of ways for individuals who use our services. 

Youth groups are becoming a valued part of the social life of young people we support with an intellectual disability, they value the friendships, fun and opportunity to just "hang out" like any other young person. Whilst we do not receive any direct funding for organising and running these groups we manage to do so with the selfless commitment from passionate young people like Ashlee. Her quiet and gentle approach to supporting young people to arrange their youth night and activities is making a difference in our community, to those we support and their families. 

On behalf of IDEA Services Family/Whanau I would to thank Trust Power and Palmerston North Council for this initiative and of course Ashlee and all those who support us, and therefore those who use our services,” says Bridget. 

TrustPower Community Relations Coordinator Suzi Luff says the TrustPower Youth Community Spirit Award is a wonderful opportunity to publicly acknowledge the work young people do to enrich their community.

“Often young people receive a lot of negative attention and we forget the tremendous input that they provide to the fabric of our community. Ashlee is a great example of a student doing just that,” says Suzi. 

“Within her school, this impressive young lady is involved in the Art, World Vision and Encounter Christian committees where her genuine concern for supporting others shines through. 

In the community, Ashlee is actively involved in her church and she’s a huge supporter of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. In six months she managed to raise over $1,000. 

Ashlee is known for being proactive, using her initiative and foresight to make a difference. She is confident in her ability to fill gaps she sees in the community, and this has seen her invest a lot of time and energy into coordinating a youth group specifically for those with intellectual disabilities", says Suzi.