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Council lends a helping hand to Big Buddy

19 August 2008

Council lends a helping hand to Big Buddy

Big Buddy, a not-for-profit organisation providing positive male role models for boys in Wellington, was one of several groups to benefit from the latest round of the Betty Campbell Accommodation Assistance grant.

The Big Buddy Mentoring Trust pairs boys with male mentors who they can build a relationship with – similar to that of an uncle and nephew.

The mentors, who are all well-screened, spend at least two hours a week with their ‘little buddies’ for at least a year. The time is spent in activities such as going to the park to kick a ball around, getting outdoors, fishing, or visiting museums.

Big Buddy’s Wellington Co-ordinator, Scott Savidge, has seen what a positive effect this service can have on the lives of boys.

“It’s a simple concept but it really does work. For many boys, just knowing there is a man he can trust to turn up and listen does wonders for his self-esteem and gives him a sense of place in the world.”

The Big Buddy Mentoring Trust was recently allocated $4680 from the Council’s Betty Campbell Accommodation Assistance grant to help them cover the costs of renting their Wellington office space.

Grants Subcommittee Chairperson Councillor Stephanie Cook says that the Betty Campbell grant is a great way to support local community groups.

“With the cost of rentals so high at the moment, it’s important that the Council can support organisations like Big Buddy to ensure they can continue to offer such wonderful services.”

The Accommodation Assistance grants are generally allocated for periods of three years at a time and can be gradually reduced as the group gains independence from the fund. The fund is for not-for-profit community groups who promote social well-being for Wellington city residents, and require accommodation for at least 30 hours a week.

The grants are allocated twice a year, depending on available funds. The maximum subsidy is limited to 30% of rental, up to $10,000. The closing date for the next round is 31 October and applications open four to six weeks before then.


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