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Youth Justice Kids Honour Anzacs


MEDIA RELEASE 24 APRIL 2008


Youth Justice Kids Honour Anzacs


Child, Youth and Family’s youth justice residence in Manurewa held a special Anzac Day dawn ceremony this morning (Thursday 24 April). The ceremony was led by the Manurewa RSA with support from the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The ceremony was the culmination of a month long study of the Anzacs by the 46 young people at the residence.

Acting Programme Manager at the residence, Hannah Green, says “for our young people, the Anzac study has helped them recognise the honour and integrity our soldiers have demonstrated in serving our country. It has also helped them to appreciate how much other people, including their parents, families and social workers, do for them.”

The Air Force’s presence at the event reflects their close relationship with Child, Youth and Family – a relationship which started when the Air Force treated 50 kids in care to a scenic flight across Auckland in a C-130 Hercules. This relationship will be formalised next month when the Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Graham Lintott and Head of Child, Youth and Family Ray Smith sign a partnership agreement.

Ray Smith says “The Air Force has so much to offer the children, families and young people that we work with and it’s great to see Air Force personnel volunteering their time to help us to make a difference. Many of the young people we work with have had little contact with positive, adult role models and have grown up in environments lacking in structure, support and supervision. The Air Force personnel are fantastic role models and can give our young people new experiences and support to make positive choices in their lives.”

Air Vice-Marshal Lintott says the partnership will guide the development of programmes for children and young people and caregivers which Air Force volunteers will run. The programmes are likely to involve activities such as camps, adventure training, mentoring, and work experience.

“For example, next month 10 members of 40 Squadron begin a mentoring programme with a small group of youth justice clients from around Auckland. The young people will visit Base Whenuapai each Wednesday for six weeks and participate in activities ranging from first aid, rope tying and water safety, to the physically challenging mud run.”

Ray Smith also thanked the Manurewa RSA members for their involvement. “They’ve had a really positive impact on the young people. It’s a great example of community support and involvement giving young people new insights and experiences”.

ENDS

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