Te Awamutu teenager Kevin McCallum, 14, was awarded a top prize at the recent Blue Light Life Skills Camp in Auckland. He beat a strong group of young people from the North Island to take the Overall Merit Award on the week-long residential course.

Blue Light life skills co-ordinator Shannon Benterman said: "Camp staff felt that Kevin had significant and consistent improvement in attitude, self-discipline, self-confidence, participation and teamwork and was always respectful to staff and course members."

The award was presented by former All Black Ofisa 'Junior' Tonu'u who was the reviewing officer at the camp.

The programme is run by New Zealand Blue Light in partnership with the NZ Police and NZ Defence Force. The programme provides 14 to17-year olds with a course delivering quality life-skills and leadership training. The programme specialises in building self-respect, respect for others, and working within boundaries, self-care, teamwork and problem solving. Up to 12 courses are held each year in Auckland, Central North Island and Burnham locations.

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Blue Light has a strong vision of Empowering Youth. All Blue Light programmes and activities are designed to; reduce the incidence of young people being an offender or victim of crime and to encourage better relations between young people, their parents, the police and communities.

Blue Light is supported by police officers, who carry out Blue Light activities over and above their normal police duties along with civilian volunteers.

Blue Light does not receive any funding from police and is thankful for the support of its many community supporters.