Nom­i­nee says he’s the wrong man

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JOE DAW­SON

A decade af­ter set­ting up the New Zealand branch of the I Have A Dream youth trust Scott Gil­mour is up for an hon­our in a na­tion­wide award.

But the Mt Roskill busi­ness­man and pa­tron says his nom­i­na­tion as a lo­cal hero in the Ki­wibank New Zealan­der of the Year Award is a source of ‘‘ex­treme an­noy­ance’’ for him.

I Have A Dream has spent the last decade work­ing closely to help a group of Mt Roskill young­sters through school and while Mr Gil­mour is happy the trust is get­ting some de­flected recog­ni­tion as a re­sult of his nom­i­na­tion he in­sists the real plau­dits should go to the staff and vol­un­teers who keep the or­gan­i­sa­tion run­ning.

Mr Gil­mour was nom­i­nated by I Have A Dream project co-or­di­na­tor Ant Back­house and is the semi­fi­nal­ist in the cat­e­gory.

‘‘It’s Ant who should be get­ting the recog­ni­tion,’’ Mr Gil­mour says.

‘‘I brought the idea home from the States but for the last 10 years Ant has been shoul­der-to-shoul­der with me.

‘‘The kids have all got cell­phones and get in touch with him at all hours. He just does so much and puts in so much heart, love and time. The idea is one thing, but the time is an­other thing.’’

The I Have A Dream pro­gramme aims to help young­sters from the decile one Wes­ley Pri­mary School in Mt Roskill to stay in school be­fore of­fer­ing them as­sis­tance through higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Men­tors may find them­selves knock­ing on doors to make sure their charges are get­ting to school, or lead­ing a party on a tramp­ing ex­pe­di­tion.

Each project se­lects one en­tire year level from the school, not just the tal­ented kids or the trou­bled kids, and works with that same group of chil­dren for sev­eral years.

Ten years in the first group is turn­ing 18 and do­ing well, Mr Gil­mour says, but the mile­stone is not one the team is dwelling on.

‘‘We had a mo­men­tary pause to re­flect on it.

‘‘We’ve been quite suc­cess­ful and the kids are do­ing quite well so we are happy with our achieve­ment.

‘‘But we’ve only been work­ing with a small group and there might be hun­dreds if not thou­sands who could use the pro­gramme.’’

In­deed the trust is in the process of de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness plan to make it more ‘‘broadly im­pact­ful’’.

‘‘We’ve got some ideas on how to scale this out,’’ Mr Gil­mour says.

‘‘Part of it is re­sourc­ing. We need money and it is out there, but it’s more the peo­ple like Ant that can ded­i­cate that much time and en­ergy. The big thing is con­sis­tency.’’

Fi­nal­ists for the Ki­wibank New Zealan­der of the Year Lo­cal Hero award will be an­nounced on Fri­day.

Lo­cal hero: I Have A Dream New Zealand founder Scott Gil­mour with some of the young­sters in­volved in the Mt Roskill­based pro­gramme. Mr Gil­mour is a semi­fi­nal­ist in the 2013 Ki­wibank New Zealan­der of the Year Lo­cal Hero Awards.

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