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$30,000 Jetstar grant to Big Buddy

Big Buddy mentoring extends its work in Wellington thanks to Jetstar $30,000 grant

· $30,000 awarded to Big Buddy by the Jetstar Flying Start Programme

· Grant will expand Big Buddy in the Wellington region where demand continues to grow

· Hundreds of fatherless boys in the capital city to benefit from mentoring

Jetstar today announced Big Buddy as the airline’s sixth Flying Start Programme grant recipient, receiving a grant made up of $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel.

Big Buddy says the grant will be used to expand its services in the Wellington region, boosting its infrastructure and recruiting Big Buddies in response to the growing waiting lists for trusted male mentors for young boys whose fathers are no longer in their lives.

Richard Aston, Chief Executive of Big Buddy says the grant has come just in time as the demand for their services in New Zealand’s second biggest city reaches new levels.

“Being chosen by Jetstar for a Flying Start Programme grant is a great gift to fatherless boys in New Zealand. It means Big Buddy can expand its Wellington programme to provide good male mentors for the rapidly growing number of boys on our waiting list.

“The difference it will make to their lives as they grow into the men of tomorrow is immeasurable.”

Jetstar Flying Start Programme judge and rugby league legend Steve Price says the role a dad plays in young boys’ lives is crucial.

““For many reasons, lots of New Zealand boys don’t have fathers or male role models in their lives. While mums do a terrific job raising boys on their own, they can’t replace a male influence in their son’s lives. Boys learn through watching the actions of men around them and learning from both negative and positive experiences. So having a consistent, positive male influence will help Kiwi boys develop into great guys who will in turn contribute positively to their own communities.”

David Hall, Jetstar Australia & New Zealand CEO, said the unique and powerful work of Big Buddy struck a chord with the judging panel.

“Big Buddy stood out for the judges as an organisation that can have a life-changing influence on the next generation of Kiwi men. Their work is unparalled in terms of having a positive effect on boys whose fathers are no longer part of their lives,” Mr Hall said

The Jetstar Flying Start Programme has awarded $150,000 in travel and cash to five New Zealand not-for-profit organisations since early 2012. Applications for the next grant close at 5.00pm (NZST) on 30 September 2013. Any New Zealand based not-for-profit community group or organisation in need of a Flying Start is encouraged to apply. Full application details and conditions can be found at www.jetstar.com.

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