MingMing Edgar lights up any room with an infectious energy. He hails from Dargaville and describes himself as outgoing and ‘up for anything’. MingMing is blind but has yet to meet a musical instrument that he can’t master.
It’s a passion that began when he was just eight. “I loved listening to music, and I wanted to try something different so I thought I would give piano a go. I had lessons for a long time – and completed my graded exams up to level six. Now I just learn by ear. I listen to a song and then I teach myself how to play it. I play piano, violin, drums and I also sing and dance,” he says.
MingMing uses his musical talents to play for the residents of the local hospice once a week and is often called on to perform at local cafes and bars as well as regional events – sometimes with a band he has formed with church-mates.
“It’s important to me that I give back. It feels good to contribute and people do seem to like my music, so I do enjoy it,” he explains.
MingMing grew up in Dargaville and feels it was – and is – a great place to be. Big enough to have everything needed, but small enough to have a sense of community that made him feel connected to the people around him. “It was easy growing up there. Everyone knows everyone, so it’s a really positive place to be.” He still lives there with his mum Gaynor, a former art teacher and MingMing’s biggest supporter.
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It is perhaps no surprise then, that MingMing has also turned his hand to the arts, having his first solo exhibition at the Muddy Waters Gallery in Dargaville in 2019. “I would say I’m a creative person. I paint, I use pastels and I’ve tried printmaking too – I just do it for fun really.”
Fitness is another passion. He has been powerlifting since he was 16 and is a regular fixture on the local competitive circuit. His love of cricket has taken him to Australia, South Africa and India to play for the NZ Blind Caps, New Zealand's only blind cricket team.
MingMing’s natural charisma saw him selected to feature in an upcoming TVNZ series Unbreakable, a show that will focus on the lives of disabled people across the country.
“We are only here on earth once, so you have to make the most of every opportunity and adventure that comes your way,” explains MingMing. “That’s the approach I live by.”
To make all this a reality he uses Individualised Funding which he manages with Gaynor, along with occasional support from CCS Disability Action. This gives him the flexibility to employ a Support Worker whose main challenge is to keep up with all MingMing wants to pack into life.
The only thing missing in MingMing’s life now is a paid job, something he has been diligently working towards for some time. Community Support Coordinator for CCS Disability Action,
Phillip Campbell recently came on board to try and help MingMing make this a reality. MingMing volunteers at Tikipunga Gardens – a community garden where kids and adults learn various outdoor skills. He has his CV at the ready and often door-knocks at local businesses to see if there are any unadvertised vacancies.
“Finding work is tough. Honestly, I’m up for anything.”
“MingMing is an incredible person and would be an awesome addition to any team – particularly in any work that’s customer-facing and/or relates to the arts. It’s a true privilege to work with him. We have been approaching some of the art galleries around here. He has a great passion for art and I feel he would be a great asset to any one that employs him. He has this tremendous energy that supercharges our work together. I’m determined to support him in any way I can so he can find a role that matches his purpose and drive in life,” Phillip explains.
Both agree that MingMing’s on-the-job-support needs aren’t any different to non-disabled people. With his Support Worker on hand to help him navigate any new environments, he’s hoping he’ll find someone willing to give him a go soon.
“Someone needs to snap me up!” says MingMing. A sentiment that is hard to disagree with.
Please give, if you can, to support our work to support disabled people into paid employment.
There are a number of ways you can donate to us, depending on what suits you best. You can choose to donate to our work nationally or to your nearest branch.
0800 227 200
CCS Disability Action
PO Box 6349
You can make a one-off gift through your bank account or credit card.
If you would like to use internet banking, here are the details you will need:
Account Name: CCS Disability Action Inc
Account Number: 02-0568-0140030-10
Reference: Please use your first and last name as a reference
If you visit any BNZ branch, they can help you make a donation directly to CCS Disability Action.
You can either get in touch with us and we can set up a direct debit for you, or you can complete this direct debit form and send it to us.
If you are used to paying us by cheque and want to understand the simplest alternative payment methods please contact:
0800 227 200 or 04 801 0851 (DDI)
Gifting through your pay is an easy way to make a regular donation. You will receive a tax credit instantly.
Please give your employer the following account details:
Account name: CCS Disability Action Payroll Giving
Account number: 02 -0568-0140030-00
Charity Number: CC30070
Donating your tax credit
You may be able to claim up to one-third of your donation back from Inland Revenue and then donate this to refund to us. This means you can make an even bigger difference without any further cost to yourself.
To claim your tax credit, you will need to download and complete this IRD tax credit form, fill it in, attach your receipts, and send it to the Inland Revenue. You can do this online using myIR or via post:
PO Box 39090
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045
To donate your credit, please use the donation option above that suits you best. Please get in touch with us to let us know so that we can look out for your donation and send you a thank you.
If you need copies of your donation receipts or need any support please contact:
0800 227 200 or 04 801 0851 (DDI)