Demand for mentors in North Canterbury


Southbrook School pupil Miley Scott, aged 9, has been hanging out with Katrina Sinclair this term. Photo: David Hill
Southbrook School pupil Miley Scott, aged 9, has been hanging out with Katrina Sinclair this term. Photo: David Hill
Big brothers and big sisters are needed to meet a growing demand.

More mentors are being sought by Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Canterbury to meet the challenges of a growing population.

Manager Ellie Le Gros says she is supporting 47 mentor matches from the Waimakariri district to Cheviot and Omihi, but her organisation is keen to support more young people.

‘‘We would like to get out more into the Hurunui.’’

Laura Biddlecombe has joined Ellie and is now ready to start supporting some matches.

‘‘I’ve been getting into the administration and marketing, but now I’m looking for some mentors so I can have some matches to work with,’’ Laura says.

‘‘We are hoping people will get that feel-good vibe after Christmas. People say ‘I’m not sure if I’m the right person and I’m so busy’, but you just be yourself and it doesn’t have to be much.’’

Peter Robinson has been a big brother to Kaiapoi High School pupil Kain Mannix, aged 14, since Kain was 8 years old.

‘‘At the time I just wanted to do something community-based and I didn’t really know what to do until I saw Big Brothers advertised in a local newspaper,’’ Peter says.

The pair spend an hour or so each week helping Kain with kicking practice for rugby league.

‘‘It’s a big commitment in terms of years, but not on a weekly basis,’’ Peter says.

‘‘I wanted to see it right through and doing just a little bit each week makes a big difference.’’

Katrina Sinclair was matched with Southbrook School pupil Miley Scott, 9, last month through the school-based programme, visiting the school each Wednesday afternoon.

‘‘I don’t have any children, but I’ve always had a nurturing nature and I just love people,’’ Katrina says.

She said Miley received a certificate at school this term for her behaviour, ‘‘which is a real positive’’.

‘‘She’s very creative, arty and extremely kind and giving,’’ Katrina says.

Loburn School principal Stuart Priddy is now board chairman, and Kaiapoi Borough School principal Murray Overton has joined the board.

To learn more, phone (03) 3107004.



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