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Blue Light Youth Charity CEO Receives Queens Honour

Blue Light Youth Charity CEO Receives Queens Honour


Rod Bell

Rod Bell, CEO of Blue Light New Zealand, the youth charity, has been awarded an ONZM in the 2014 Queens Honour’s List for services to youth.

“Rod Bell has been the driving force for the Blue Light organisation and his enthusiasm and commitment to its aims and philosophy have been outstanding. He has a clear vision for the youth of New Zealand, recognising how important it is for our young people to have strong and meaningful connections with local communities, choose good friends and be supported in all aspects of school life. He is particularly keen to focus on our most disadvantaged young people and those on the margins of our community. Blue Light has become a key youth charity and its vitality and commitment to addressing issues facing young people today is in large part due to the leadership provided by Mr Bell”, Lance Tebbutt, Acting Inspector in Charge of Youth & Community, Solomon Islands (on secondment).

“Rod has made an enormous contribution to Blue Light’s youth development work, which has strong support from the New Zealand Police but also stands in its own right as a leading youth charity making a unique contribution to the New Zealand community”

Mr Bell spent 18 years in the New Zealand Police Force in the North Shore/Rodney area in various roles including Officer in Charge at Wellsford when he first got involved in Blue Light and for a number of years was head of youth services for the North Shore Police prior to leaving the Police in 2001 when he left to set up his own business. He first became involved with Blue Light in the late 1980’s in Wellsford when a local branch was started to give back to the community, who’d generously given their time to help build the local police station. It was also during this time that he joined the steering committee which set up the National Blue Light Board. Mr Bell stepped into the role of CEO in 2007, initially on a voluntary basis, and the organisation has gone from strength to strength under his leadership. The number of Blue Light branches throughout New Zealand has grown from 25 to 76 in the past 25 years with a strong National Headquarters’.

Under his leadership the Blue Light National organisation is morphing into a major provider of youth development programs for ‘at risk’ youth as well as continuing to do what it always set out to do which is build positive relationships between young people and the Police, as well as the community, all with the aim of reducing the chance of young people becoming a victim or offender of crime.

Rod comments that “Even though I’ve been involved with Blue Light for over 25 years I still excited by the fact that throughout New Zealand local Blue Light branches continue to provide outstanding programs and events for young people in their area, which respond to local needs, and do so much in terms of youth crime prevention by breaking down barriers between young people and local Police.

For further information about Blue Light and its programs please visit www.bluelight.co.nz

ends

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