Seven youth sector organisations will share a total of $65,000 funding to help them provide new youth development opportunities for around 640 young people, Youth Minister Nikki Kaye announced today.

“This funding is about supporting more leadership, volunteering and mentoring opportunities for young people across New Zealand,” says Ms Kaye.

“The opportunities cover a broad spectrum, from supporting young people to reduce online bullying and move away from at-risk behaviour, to enabling them to explore potential career paths and support young disabled people and those living with cancer.

“It’s great to be able to support the many organisations out there doing fantastic work for our young people, and enabling them to provide hundreds more opportunities at the same time.

“There are new opportunities created from Northland to Otago, and these will enable more young people to develop their own skills and leadership and also contribute to other young people and their communities.”

The organisations and initiatives benefitting from this funding are:

Sticks ‘n Stones - $12,000 to support 150 young people in Otago to become ambassadors for ‘responsible digital citizenship’, by running community events and activities for other young people to address the issue of online bullying Central Otago REAP - $12,000 to support 40 rural young people from Central Otago to receive one-on-one and group mentoring, to help them reduce at-risk behaviours by building positive relationships and skills such as resilience and decision-making Phab - $10,000 to support 100 young disabled people from Auckland to become leaders who act as advocates and supporters for other young people living with a disability CCS Disability Action - $7,000 to support 40 young disabled people from Northland to be part of a youth steering group and contribute to the goal of ensuring that those living with a disability are involved in decision-making and ‘in the driver’s seat’ of their lives Tauranga Youth Development Team - $10,000 to support 100 Bay of Plenty young people to be part of a project developing a series of local youth events, including workshops, team building and social events Canteen - $7000 to support 140 young Aucklanders to become leaders and mentors supporting young people living with cancer Taranaki Futures - $7000 to enable 70 young people living in the Taranaki region to participate in the Accelerator programme, which partners young people with business mentors and provides actual workplace experience to help formulate potential career paths.

The new opportunities announced today are part of a focus on increasing youth development opportunities from 50,000 to 70,000 annually, and increasing the funds targeting disadvantaged youth from 18 to 30 per cent.

“A leadership, mentoring or volunteering opportunity can turn young people around and open up new directions and possibilities. This is about giving more young people the chance to develop their skills and build a path to a successful future,” says Ms Kaye.

More about the successful recipients

Sticks ‘n Stones – a student-led programme focused on taking positive action online to stop bullying Central Otago REAP – a not-for-profit organisation providing a variety of community education opportunities, from parenting and computer training to careers and adult literacy Phab – has a long history offering a constructive support network to disabled youth in New Zealand CCS Disability Action – provide frontline support services and create awareness and education around disability issues Tauranga Youth Development Team – a network of agencies and young people working together to strengthen youth engagement in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty Canteen – supporting young people to cope with the physical, emotional and practical impact of living with cancer Taranaki Futures – an initiative working to create a ‘clear line of sight’ from education to employment

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