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Partnerships to Ignite Youth Potential

Employer-Supported Volunteering


Whakatuu tuakana whakakohe, whakamana a taiohi

Enable life-changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of taiohi/young people

 Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawkes Bay aims to ignite youth potential in Hawkes Bay through an active, sustainable and resilient volunteer mentorship programme embedded in local communities.

Volunteer mentors help form strong positive relationships with young people that express care, challenge growth, share power, and expand possibilities.  The programme has been running internationally since 1904 - and it works.

It is the largest and most replicated programme in the world. It was established in New Zealand in 1996. Since 2017, Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawke’s Bay has matched over 160 taiohi/young people with a mentor. As a result, they have experienced improved relationship skills, social awareness, increased self confidence, hope and optimism about the future.


But some young people are missing out. People across all of our communities have been disrupted by Cyclone Gabrielle and the ongoing disruption it has caused. Mentors, matches and the wider community have pulled together to look after each other during this time, and we've seen how positive that has been. We've also had an influx of referrals for young people in need of a mentor, and not enough mentors to match with them, especially for taiohi tāne / male mentees. Research from New Zealand and overseas shows that there is a long 'tail' to disaster events, particularly for young people. It is a time when having a positive, stable relationship is more important than ever.  

It is also more difficult for new mentors to volunteer. Travel, petrol costs, disruption of personal lives and lingering stress and uncertainty are all barriers.

We believe that working together, we can make it easier, and better serve youth in Hawke's Bay.


This pilot programme is in partnership with local primary schools and businesses. We're proud to be part of a community where so many people want to help - and hope this programme will give them a way to do so.

Partner businesses will be matched with nearby local primary schools.  Once a week during the school term they will release an employee or two during work time to mentor at the end of the school day. The mentor picks the young person up when school finishes, hangs out with them for an hour or two, and then drops them back to their home.


  • Local businesses and local schools sign up to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawke's Bay to be part of the Employee-Supported Volunteer programme

  • Children aged 6-11 years old are referred to the mentoring programme by partner schools  

  • They are matched with a mentor volunteer from a nearby partner business.  All mentors are interviewed by BBBS, police vetted, referee checked and trained

  • Both mentor and mentee commit to the programme for a minimum of 12 months. 

  • Once a week during the school term, the mentor meets their mentee at the end of the school day. Together they spend an hour or more having fun, experiencing new activities and the child is able to form a trusted friendship with a positive role model.

  • All matches are managed and supervised by trained Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor Coordinators who check in monthly with the child, the school and the mentor. 


Employer benefits: Businesses are able to build and strengthen close relationships with their local school communities, and know that they are contributing to a proven and effective programme happening locally. Empowering employee volunteering is one way to bring businesss values to life, improve job satisfaction and employee retention.  They are more likely to be top-of mind as product or service provider for the hundreds of families that are part of those school communities.

School benefits:  Partner schools are able to help link students needing extra support to trusted adult role models. Schools report better engagement and attitude from students enrolled in the mentor programme.

Taiohi/Young person benefits: Improved relationship skills, social awareness, increased self confidence and hope and optimism about the future. Better engagement and performance at school.

Tuakana/Mentor benefits: Joy in establishing and developing a positive relationship with a young person. Fulfilment reaching into other areas of their lives. Gaining insight into challenges faces by others

Wider community benefits: Benefits for the mentor and mentee also benefit whānau, peers and wider community leading to a greater level of family and community connection, safer homes and communities and improved resilience. Research from the Boston Consulting Group found that every $1 invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters generated $18 in social return on investment


For more information on the programme and to discuss the benefits to your school or business, please get in touch with us! We'd be delighted to talk to you


More information? Enquire Today:

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