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Earthquake-focussed mentoring scheme for young Cantabrians

*The Hilton in the Community Foundation backs earthquake-focussed mentoring scheme for young Cantabrians*

23 August 2011. Christchurch. – To mark the recent opening of the Hilton Queenstown, the Hilton in the Community Foundation has donated $20,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Christchurch, which will support a new weekly mentoring service for young people, many of whom are earthquake affected.

“This sort of investment goes a long way for an organisation like ours – it will help us to support 15-20 weekly mentoring relationships,” says Big Brothers Big Sisters Chairman Tim Webster.

Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors will be paired up with young people in earthquake affected areas, spending one hour per week providing support for them.

Marlene Poynder, General Manager Hilton Queenstown and Kawarau Hotel Managed by Hilton, commented “our founder, Conrad Hilton, saw travel as a powerful way to improve the world, and today as part of our mission to be the preeminent global hospitality company, we continue to build on his legacy.

“The recent earthquakes in Christchurch have been devastating and as new citizens of the South Island and the Canterbury region we wanted to support the recovery efforts as much as possible, so I am delighted, on behalf of Hilton Worldwide and the Hilton Foundation, to be able support Christchurch’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Christchurch.”

“Many of the parts of Christchurch affected by the earthquake were already our highest areas of demand for mentors. The need has become even more intense since February,” says Mr Webster.

“The evidence from our own experience working with hundreds of kids in Christchurch, and the research conducted worldwide, show these mentoring relationships can have a significant impact on the lives of young people in terms of their self-esteem and their ability to respond to challenges in life.”

“This investment by the Hilton Foundation will make an enormous difference to these young lives. It is wonderful to see an organisation with a real commitment to the communities they operate in.”

BBBS was referred to Hilton by another of the charity’s local partners, Christchurch International Airport Limited, says Mr Webster.


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