Blueprints – mapping out a better future together

White Ribbon is delighted to be able to share the details of an exciting new opportunity to assist “at risk” youth in South Auckland.

In July of this year, a partnership agreement was established between White Ribbon and the New Zealand Police within Counties Manukau East. The intention was to work collaboratively together on a programme addressing the numerous issues facing young men 14 to 18 years of age, that come to attention of the Police within this community.

Blueprints receives referrals for 15 young men for each intake from Youth Aid Police and their community contacts, who engage for an initial 10-week period within the four school terms.  After their term on the programme, participants receive ongoing support from the White Ribbon Youth Mentor-Social Worker for another 10 months.

White Ribbon Youth Social Worker Sean Apai and White Ribbon National Relationships Manager Pam Hughes with an artwork created by Petia Wilson (one of the founders of the 1 degree workshops) and presented to the team at the first Blueprints Graduation.

Sessions address many of the current challenges facing our youth and are delivered by contracted providers experienced within their given subjects.  These include: Caroline and Petia Wilson founders of 1-degree Educational Workshops, who tailor their sessions to the specific needs of each group, covering issues such as resilience, emotions, mental health, bullying and leadership; Richie Hardcore, White Ribbon Ambassador and educator, who talks about respectful relationships and challenging the unspoken and outdated rules and stereotypes that limit individual development and inhibit healthy masculinity; Peter Thorburn, Director of MESS, an educator and clinician (AOD), specialising in youth, who delivers a session on alcohol and drugs.

After the completion of these sessions, participants set their own short, medium, and long-term goals where their individual “Blueprint” is developed, and they then receive dedicated support for the following ten-months.

The first intake saw 9 participants completing the individual sessions component in late October with an additional participant moving into employment. More than 60 people, families and supporters attended the enjoyable Graduation event for this first cohort.

Area Commander Inspector Wendy Spiller, Manukau East Police and Pam Hughes, White Ribbon Relationship Manager were incredibly pleased with the successful completion of the first cohort intake. Changing Covid levels during this first term saw the Blueprints team working with significant challenges that required considerable flexibility to navigate. Support from our contractors, participants and parents over this time was vital enabling both continuation and completion.

The second intake has now commenced, with 15 young men attending the individual sessions.

Sean Apai, White Ribbon, Youth mentor/social worker is based at Ormiston Police Station and continues to work closely the Counties Manukau East Youth Aid Team, to deliver positive outcomes for the young men within this partnership programme.

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