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How Big Brothers Big Sisters makes a Difference

Young people aged between 6 – 11 years can be referred to the programme by social workers, schools and directly from whānau. Big Brothers Big Sisters enables life-changing mentoring relationships through The Power of Three: The Family and Youth, the Organisation and the Volunteer Mentor. Mentoring ignites the power of young people, so they can reach their full potential.

What being a Big Brother or a Big Sister means for our Mentors

Mentoring is mutually beneficial, the focus is on the outcomes for the young people on the programme, but our volunteers often report being surprised by how much they gain from the experience and how rewarding it can be.

Everyone has something to offer as a mentor. You invest your time in a young person by listening, having fun and building a friendship. And that is all it takes to enrich a life, any other skills, experiences or knowledge you impart are a bonus.

What having a Mentor means to our Mentees

Our mentees appreciate their mentors very much, often describing them as “like my real big sister” or “my best mate”.

Initially when matched a young person might seem quiet and shy but it doesn’t take long before they start to feel comfortable and a natural friendship forms.

Young people love the consistency of knowing that they will see their mentor each week, that they get one-on-one time with someone that is invested in them and they often get to have new and enriching experiences.

Become a Match Sponsor

Our Match Sponsorship Programme is more than a conventional sponsorship it's an opportunity to ignite youth potential, help foster a safe community and a motivated local workforce.

See how your sponsorship makes a difference by following the journey of your match, starting with a match profile, meet and greet, and half yearly updates on how the match is progressing.

We also offer a Workplace Volunteer option where businesses can release staff for 1-2 hours paid each week to mentor a young person through BBBS.

FAQ - Why Police vetting is important

After your interview we undertake three referee checks and a full Police Vet, this is due to the nature of your role with a young person.

All of your information is stored securely and confidentially, we only release information if required by law to do so.

FAQ - Does being a mentor take a lot of time?

A little time is all it takes to make a BIG difference.

The minimum commitment for a mentor is one hour a week with their mentee for a minimum of 12 months. We find that once the match evolves into a friendship the time that volunteers give often extends beyond one hour, however it is not expected.

FAQ - Who is the Big Brothers Big Sisters programme for?

Young people and whānau may hear about BBBS from their school, a counsellor, a social worker or through the community. All young people and their parent/caregiver choose to be in our programme.

The reasons for referring a young person can vary, some join us from single parent households, others may live with a grandparent or guardian who may be stretched to meet all the young person’s needs in terms of giving one-to-one time.

Some young people may have experienced challenges and would benefit from having a friend and role model outside of the home. Others may have low confidence and would benefit from having a friend that can help nurture their self-esteem through talking, having fun and providing new experiences.

Mentors and mentees alike can enable one-another to see life through a different lens, to get to know someone from a different background that they may not otherwise have connected with.

FAQ - How long does it take to get matched?

The application process can take up to six weeks as it includes an interview, home visit, police check and referee checks. Then you undertake your orientation training. Once you are accepted on the programme as a mentor we will consider the young people waiting for a mentor and how their interests and needs will work well with yours.

We carefully consider, to ensure the longevity of a match, geographic location, interests, personality and needs of a young person before we match them with a volunteer mentor.

FAQ - How Big Brothers Big Sisters supports matches

Once you are matched you will have a Mentor Coordinator provides professional match supervision throughout the match to all three parties (the child, family and mentor). After the match introduction meeting and first outing or two, we will check in on how things are going. Thereafter we communicate with all parties in person every month for the first 12 months. When a match reaches its 12 month anniversary we then check in every three months. BBBS team members are available outside these times by phone and email for any questions, worries or concerns too.

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