There isn’t too much that Paul Rolton doesn’t like about the community he lives in. But a definite highlight is taking in the ‘beautiful’ mountains that overlook Thames, especially during his morning paper round.
Well, that and the people he comes into contact with every day, because engaging with the community is something that he believes is important for everyone.
He is also passionate about the growth of his community and thoughtfully thinks about areas where he believes there is room for improvement.
“I’d like to see more people working, no empty shops. I’d like to see people getting on well, not standing around but volunteering to help clean up the town.”
Making these connections and observations is potentially one of Paul’s favourite past times, but it probably doesn’t hurt that he has spent all his life in Thames, so knows the people and the geography pretty well.
“I was born here, I just love it here, everything I need is here, and this is where my heart is.”
So too is his ever expanding group of friends, as well as all his community commitments such as his involvement in the Special Olympics as a participant, coach and mentor for the past 11 years.
Heading along to The Supported Life Style Hauraki Trust to “do art and make things” helps bring out his creative side, but probably the biggest reason he likes to go there is the people and the sense of belonging that it offers.
“I’ve been with the Trust for around 22 years and thanks to their support I have managed to achieve a lot of my goals I have set for myself. Like paying off my own house, that was something I was pretty proud of and a goal that I’m working towards now is that I would love to go for a big travel to Australia to visit my nephew and sister.”
Despite his goals, Paul has never been one to forget to stop and smell the roses, which no doubt nurtures has keen sense of fun, helpful, caring and independent nature.