After being a volunteer for 18 months Nic Willis decided that she loved the Big Brother Big Sister programme so much she joined the team.
Miss Willis, of New Plymouth, has been matched with Wiki, 13, since April 2011 and thoroughly enjoys spending time with her “little sister”.
“I just like seeing Wiki grow up and see her confidence grow,” she said.
Some of the things they do together are as simple as walking the dog, doing some baking or heading to the Big Brother Big Sister clubrooms at the Tasman Club where they play darts, cards and board games.
“We just hang out and do everyday stuff,” she said.
Wiki has good supportive parents who wanted something extra for her.
Because of a change in family circumstances they decided that it would be great for Wiki to have some one-on-one adult time.
At first Wiki was nervous about the programme and now just loves the idea.
“I love Nic being my big sister,” she said.
Wiki’s parents have noticed the change in her confidence with other people since being in the programme.
“Its great to know she is out and about spending time with Nic,” her mother said.
During the latest school holidays they had a special adventure at Pouakai Zoo thanks to the generosity of Co-Owner Fiona Carson.
Every school holiday, the zoo donates two ultimate animal experience double passes to the programme.
Ms Carson believes what goes around comes around.
“I think that any small local business should be helping the local community and then the community will help that business in return.”
She said that it would be great if every town could run the Big Brother Big Sister programme.
“I think it’s fantastic that there are older people out there that want to help and support younger people.”
Ms Carson offers a discount to anyone in New Zealand with a Big Brother Big Sister card and the accompanying child gets in free.
For more information about becoming a volunteer contact Nic at email@example.com
This article was published in the North Taranaki Midweek on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.