Learning & Information | Rukuhia Te Puna Mātauranga

Corey Wilkie – Lower Hutt


Corey relished his time in Lockdown spending more time on the land, helping out wherever he could and getting involved in a whole range of activities with those in his bubble.

He hosted movie nights in his room where everyone relaxed around his TV, made huge pancake stacks for Sunday morning breakfast and turned his hand to woodwork and all the outside jobs that presented on the rural property.

Corey is close with his family and missed his parents a lot. He has two brothers and is an uncle to Quinn,16, and one-year-old Mikaela. He missed the family dog too. He loved regular WhatsApp calls with family.

Although activities were cancelled at the learning and recreational centre he attends during the week, Thumbs Up, he was able to join its regular Zoom calls, and he soon found many other activities to keep him busy at Hearth Trust.

Corey’s an outdoors man, he loves helping out and during Lockdown he made the most of the warm and sunny autumn weather to be outside.

At weekends he helps his dad with maintenance tasks around Wainuiomata schools. He’ll do water-blasting, leaf-blowing, hammering and go to the hardware store for supplies.

There are always maintenance jobs to be done on the Trust lifestyle property. Corey cheerfully adopts the role of project manager using his clipboard and announcing the work over his megaphone when there are tasks to be done.

During Lockdown he spent his mornings outside moving mulch, building composts, gardening or landscaping for a new garden area. He also went for regular walks through the native bush track on the property, and around streets in the local area or to Boulder Hill with his housemate Tim.

Both outdoor lovers, the pair developed a closer relationship during Lockdown finding more things in common. Corey was always on the go and often sought out Tim to involve him in activities, and with the additional sleeping in occurring in the house Corey could be heard calling out to Tim to get up in the mornings.

Scooting along the Hutt River with his housemates riding their bikes alongside him was another fun outdoor activity for Corey, and a new activity for the group that was prompted by the Lockdown.

Another happy place was in the property’s large workshop. Corey loved working and tinkering on the workbench in front of its neatly tooled wall. He repaired a clothes rack and sanded the planks being prepared to make a bed in a Kombi van on the site.

One of the things Corey appreciated most with Lockdown was having a slower life. Corey agrees that he can get anxious when there are too many changes happening in his life, and that he loved being at home more, having a quieter time and not being overstimulated.

For quiet time during Lockdown, he went off to his room to listen to his music collection and watch live concerts. He’s a fan of Queen, ABBA, Bob Marley, Westlife and the Eagles.

Corey’s a Hurricanes and All Blacks fan. Saturday nights are often spent at the local Wainuiomata pub helping his parents run raffles. He couldn’t do that in Lockdown but he was glad to see the rugby season resume and the Hurricanes get a few good wins under their belt when the country moved down to Level 1. – 17 September 2020

  • This article appeared in Life in a Pandemic, a book about disabled and autistic people in Covid-19 Lockdown, 2020. © Life Unlimited Charitable Trust (now known as Your Way | Kia Roha).

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