Spring Farm teen seeks volunteer role

Ready to volunteer: Gabriella Ferretti (centre) is ready to work with the help of carer Bec Mangion (right) and mum Giuliana. Picture: Chris Lane
Ready to volunteer: Gabriella Ferretti (centre) is ready to work with the help of carer Bec Mangion (right) and mum Giuliana. Picture: Chris Lane

"Gabi doesn't want to just sit around at home watching TV - she wants to do something for her disability pension."

Spring Farm's Gabriella Ferretti wants to do some volunteer work - but she's struggling to find anywhere in Macarthur that will take her.

The 17-year-old has a debilitating chromosome condition called Inverted Duplication Deletion 8P, which severely affects all of her bodily functions.

Gabi is one of just four Australians with the condition, and there are only about 64 others worldwide.

She was born with part of her brain missing (agenesis of the corpus callosum or ACC), and also suffers from other conditions including Cerebral Palsy.

Her conditions limit her ability, but not her drive, to work.

Mum Giuliana Ferretti said her daughter was ready to get out in the community and do something productive for her pension.

"Gabi would be joined by her carer, Bec, so anyone that takes her on would be getting twice the benefit," she said.

"Gabi loves being around people, and she has a personality that just makes people light up.

"She can put a smile on anyone's face.

"People often see us rolling through Narellan Town Centre and say hi."

Ms Ferretti said there were several tasks Gabi was equipped to complete with her carer's help.

"She's really good at saying hello and welcoming people, so she could be a greeter in a larger business or office," she said.

"She is also capable at sorting things with some initial instruction. Gabi could deliver messages or deliveries around a big office.

"She can walk short distances and if she needs to go further she has her wheelchair.

"Bec would make sure everything was completed perfectly."

Ms Ferretti said the family was keen to see Gabi grow in confidence by making a contribution to her community.

That's why they are calling on Macarthur businesses to consider taking Gabi on.

She said her daughter loved being around other people and the few activities she was able to do with her care group - like going to the movies - did not leave Gabi satisfied.

"If she's out their volunteering she can feel valued and a real part of the community," Ms Ferretti said.

If you would like to offer some volunteer work with your business, call 0417 588 098 or email gabriella08p@gmail.com.