In the wake of the recent cyclone that swept through Hawke’s Bay, leaving a trail of challenges in its wake, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawke’s Bay has announced the launch of a new Community Partnerships programme.
The community partnerships programme is hoped to empower local youth post-cyclone through employer-supported volunteering while igniting local youths’ potential.
A Big Brother Big Sister spokeswoman explained the initiative seeks to be a source of support for Hawke’s Bay youth, acknowledging the increased need for assistance post-cyclone and the enduring impact of natural events on our youngest members.
Big Brother Big Sister Hawke’s Bay’s new community partnerships programme embodies the strength of collaboration, resilience and unity the region showed during and after Cyclone Gabrielle.
The spokeswoman said, “The lasting effects of the cyclone have presented ongoing challenges, particularly for young people, who may be more susceptible to the emotional and psychological aftermath of such events.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawke’s Bay is seeking to partner with more local workplaces and primary schools to make it easier for people to volunteer as mentors to young people in need of a positive, calm, stable role model, during term time throughout 2024.
Partner workplaces signed up with the new program will allow one or more of their team members to mentor for a couple of hours a week during work hours, matched with a child referred from a nearby primary school.
Programme manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawke’s Bay, Hayley Burnett said, “The strength of our community lies in these partnerships with local schools and workplaces.
“Together, we can make a significant impact on the lives of our youth, assisting them in overcoming the challenges brought about by recent natural events.”
The partnership is designed to work both ways, as businesses benefit by helping employees develop new skills and increase job satisfaction.
Big Brother Big Sister Hawke’s Bay said studies have shown similar workplace projects have improved retention and reduced absenteeism in employees.
The mentor and mentee relationship is supported by a trained Kairuruku or Mentor Coordinator from Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawke’s Bay.
Several primary schools from across the region are already part of the programme, including:
⦁ Te Whai Hiringa (Peterhead) School
⦁ Puketapu Primary School
⦁ Havelock North Primary School
⦁ Ebbett Park School
⦁ Greenmeadows Primary School
⦁ Westshore Primary
⦁ Bledisloe School
Big Brother Big Sister Hawke’s Bay wants to know if any local businesses want to help.