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Help to transform young lives
Ashburton Guardian, Canterbury  by Megan Gnad
29 Apr 2017
General News - page 24 - 347 words - ID 766249405 - Photo: No - Type: News Item - Size: 165.00cm2

OUR VIEW

With the launch of the Graeme Dingle Foundation in the district, Ashburton has the opportunity to band together to transform young lives.

It has been running nationally for 21 years, with the adventurer's life work focused on providing our young people with positive role models, mentors and programmes in nature's classroom, the great outdoors.

Each year the charity works with 18,000 five to 18-year-olds throughout New Zealand, and with its introduction to Mid Canterbury, we have the chance to turn it into something incredible.

The Rotary Club of Ashburton Plains has brought the concept to the district, with one of the foundation's programmes, Kiwi Can, now offered at Netherby and Wakanui schools.

It's only been running for one term and already reports are positive with marked changes in the behaviour of those taking part.

Comments from young people across the country include how the programme taught them to have a more positive outlook on life, has built self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership skills, that it's okay to make mistakes and the importance of goal setting.

Since the Canterbury earthquakes there's been even more demand and need for its programmes, which has seen the Canterbury region triple in its outreach over the past three years.

As a result, they're now delivering the transformational model across Christchurch City and Ashburton, along with assuming management of Timaru and Waimate.

The Graeme Dingle Foundation is on a mission to change lives and it's not slowing down any time soon.

But, as it is rolled out in our neck of the woods, it needs community support to ensure the model is solid, secure and delivered to where it's needed most.

Their next step is to officially launch the foundation to the district on Tuesday and work to secure community funding to keep the programme running.

Then, with time, they hope to extend it into schools right across Mid Canterbury.

Here is an incredible opportunity to invest in the lives of our youth.

By starting today and creating a solid foundation, we can support young people now and well into the future.

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