Taranaki volunteers are getting behind the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme making it one of the biggest agencies in the country.
The Taranaki branch has 120 matches in the New Plymouth, Waitara, Inglewood and Hawera areas.
Programme manager Snr Constable Paul Lampe said the focus in Taranaki was on children aged 7 to 10 years who could stay matched until they were 18.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programme is for any child who wants and needs a mentor in their lives,” he said.
The youth mentoring programme focuses on children at an age when they are most likely to bond with the volunteer, creating a good friendship base and potentially life long friendships.
“The whole point about mentoring is for the volunteers to have fun with the young person that they are matched with,” Mr Lampe said.
Volunteers spend time being a big brother or big sister by doing things they already enjoy doing such as kicking a ball around, taking a walk on the beach, going to the movies or just hanging out.
“The child knows, no matter what’s going on within their lives, here’s one person who is outside the family circle who is reliable and consistent,” Mr Lampe said.
The non-profit organisation is funded through sponsorship, donations and grants enabling volunteers to have a positive influence on young lives.
There are many ways to get involved – from volunteering as a mentor, serving as a trustee, donating, or helping organise activities or fundraising events.
Choose to be a kid for a couple of hours every month by being a friend to a fun-loving child and know you are helping to make a difference.
This article was published in the North Taranaki Midweek on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.