Women fund youth initiatives

Inner Wheel President Judy Utting, left, presents a cheque for $1000 to Michelle Yok of KidsLink.

Members of the Inner Wheel Club of Orewa and Whangaparaoa have supported two Coast-based organisations that work with youth and families.

At a recent club meeting, Youth in Transition director Tina Jones spoke about her organisation’s work, particularly in regard to youth suicide.

Now based in Wade River Road, Youth In Transition has created a 12-week programme that teaches life skills to young people aged 10 to 24, helping them to manage anxiety, depression, stress and suicidal thoughts. The young people are referred to the five-step programme by hospitals, Police, health boards and support groups.

Tina told the meeting that each person on the programme receives 12 counselling sessions at weekly meetings of the Peer Support Group and is enrolled in a mentoring programme, which offers ongoing support. Lifestyle coaching is also offered in nutrition, personal training, health advice and work/life balance. The fifth step involves providing family support, where the family is connected with organisations which can provide help.

The Trust received $1000 from Inner Wheel to put towards taking on two additional counsellors, internet connection in their new rooms, a properly designed website and the ability to put a further 50 young people through the programme.

The second speaker at the meeting was Michele Yok of KidsLink, a website that provides targeted information for parents.

The website provides information in five main categories – learning, behaviour, physical needs, extra-curricular activities and childcare. Michele, whose background is in teaching, said the information was local, appropriate and accessible.

Each category has its own list of specialists or providers, and they have their own web page, allowing parents to make direct connections. Financial assistance is often available through sponsorship by both providers and many local businesses.

Michele also coordinates the Help for Kids programme – KidsLink’s philanthropic arm, connecting children with the help and support they need to grow and achieve.

Inner Wheel donated another $1000 towards the work Michele is doing.

Inner Wheel is New Zealand’s largest voluntary organisation for women.


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