It will be a big year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua with mentoring match anniversaries and the launch of a new programme coming up.

Darryl Parker, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua co-ordinator, says they have begun the year with 25 mentoring matches.

He says some of these will celebrate three years together this year, which is very special for the organisation because it is about long-term benefits from long-term, positive mentoring relationships.

Darryl says they are always in need of more mentors, as they have a constant flow of inquiries and referrals.

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"Many of these go on a waiting list or are turned away because we simply do not have the available mentors."

The Rotorua group got together at the Aquatic Centre for its Christmas break-up, with a good number of our matches able to attend, he says.

"This was a fun event and it is always great to get all our people together to have a barbecue and have some fun."

He says the Aquatic Centre was kind to make their installations available at no cost and include the use of the inflatables - "this was the children's highlight".

 Staff, trustees and mentors enjoy nibbles and drinks at Copthorne Hotel. Photo/Supplied
Staff, trustees and mentors enjoy nibbles and drinks at Copthorne Hotel. Photo/Supplied

Darryl says Blair Chalmers, manager of Copthorne Hotel, also put on nibbles and drinks at the Copthorne's house bar as an end-of-year get-together for staff, trustees and mentors.

"We appreciate this type of local support from businesses and individuals who support and encourage the good work our volunteers do."

Darryl says one of the big developments for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua in 2018 is the launching of its School-Based Mentoring programme.

He says this will begin with five police employees going into Western Heights Primary School once a week to mentor children.

"We are very happy to partner with the New Zealand police and Western Heights Primary School in this new project, which we envisage growing into a programme that benefits many children in many schools in the future."