Programme set to nurture leaders
LUKE KIRKEBY Blue Light is set to trial a new youth leadership programme in three North Island districts.
The registered charity, which is run nationwide in partnership with police to deliver a range of youth programmes and activities, is set to trial its latest initiative, the Blue Light Police Youth Volunteers programme, in Taupo¯, South Waikato, and Whanganui from term three.
Between 10-15 Year 9 students in each of the districts will be selected to take part in the programme which is loosely based on the New Zealand Cadet Forces model.
Students will have the chance to take part in various challenges, leadership activities, volunteering at events, first aid, drill and ceremonial training amongst other components.
South Waikato Blue Light coordinator Donna Campbell said the aim of the free programme, which has been successfully run in Scotland, was to create leaders out of youths.
‘‘There are some kids who are outgoing that have the potential of being leaders but they just need guidance and skills of how to do it instead of losing the plot when things are not going the way they have got it envisioned in their heads,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s about working with them and creating ways for them to get it to what they want. It is just about providing general life skills for some kids.’’
Campbell said the first students involved would become leaders for next year’s intake.
‘‘Each year we will intake Year 9 students but keep the previous ones on so they stay in it for potentially three to four years,’’ she said.
Senior Constable Jaks Sherwood said each district will run its own programme which is open to all high schools.
‘‘We see there is a need for our young people to have something to do because not everyone is sporty,’’ she said.
‘‘We have only just put it into the schools but we don’t want to be flooded with names, just one or two would be really good.’’