The Herald is featuring 12 charities which have been chosen to get a $10,000 grant from Auckland Airport, as part of its 12 Days of Christmas charity campaign. The $120,000 comes from generous travellers who donate money in globes throughout the airport.

Being a friend is wonderful.

But being a positive role model can arguably have a greater impact on another's life - especially if they are a young person.

Brothers In Arms is a charity that is all about providing youngsters with positive influencers in their lives.


The charity was established in 2006 in a bid to help at-risk or vulnerable young people by linking them up with positive adult role models.

A group of mates got together and decided to volunteer - and the first mentors were born.

The charity is one of 12 to receive $10,000 each in the Auckland Airport 12 Days of Christmas campaign.

BIA co-founder, Dave Robertson, said they had about 100 young people linked up with a volunteer mentor.

Their grant will go towards funding next year's events, including a beach day and adventure camp.

Despite its name, the group provides mentors to both girls and boys aged 9 to 13 and includes both men and women mentors from all walks of life.

"They do all sorts of activities and they meet once a week. A number of them have been mentors for around three years.

"Most of the kids have been identified as someone who would really benefit from having an adult role model.''



Auckland-based Joe Vaughan has been a mentor for the past two years and is currently one to young Razelle.

Having recently arrived from the UK, Vaughan thought being involved in such an initiative would help him get to know New Zealand's culture and people better.

"I wanted to be closer to the community.

"I also don't have family here so I thought it would be a good chance for me to help and share with others - like a family.''

Vaughan said he was happy to see Razelle becoming a more confident young man.

"Similarly, I'm a bit more confident with young people now. It taught me to be grounded.

"I get a strong satisfaction from hanging out with him - it gives me a sense of purpose.''