The Rotorua Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) programme was established in 2014 to provide a children’s mentoring programme focused on creating brighter futures through long-term, meaningful relationships with a positive adult role model.
Since its inception, the programme has been extremely successful, with 129 mentors and children served to date – and growing.
BBBS’ vision is to create a strong sense of whanaungatanga by building, strengthening and promoting positive relationships between children, their whānau and dedicated mentors.
Long-term mentoring matches between adults and children provide lasting benefits for all involved, with flow on effects into the local community and beyond. The programme provides ongoing training and support for mentors and ensures the safety of both children and mentors by working closely with the Rotorua Police.
Rotorua Trust granted $30,000 to BBBS – $10,000 to cover half the cost of a replacement vehicle and $20,000 to ensure the programme can continue to deliver its services within the community – a service that Trust Chairman, Stewart Edward says is in high demand.
“Our local community has an increasing amount of children needing an extra person in their lives that can provide consistent positive mentoring.
The BBBS programme aligns with our Education priority funding area, but we feel the relationship benefits reach well into the community too.”
BBBS Funding Co-ordinator, Nicki Airey says the small but dedicated BBBS team is thrilled with the recent funding from Rotorua Trust.
“We are grateful for their support – being able to upgrade our vehicle will enable us to have more space for transporting children and resources for families and the funding towards the mentoring programme will allow us to deliver extra support to our matches and continue building our school and community programmes.
We are dedicated to making strong, long-term, and compatible matches and that takes time, resources and constant upskilling of our team and mentors. Without funding we would simply not be able to operate and help change the lives of local tamariki.”