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Powerful initiatives to stimulate new generations

Children are at the centre of the Auckland Plan and the Council is involved in a host of projects and partnerships that benefit our young people.

My wife Shan Inglis and I are personally committed to an Auckland, where all our children have what they need to reach their full potential.

We also support people working hard to improve the lives of our young people, often without recognition or recompense.

Therefore, it has been inspiring to me to hear about the people who Shan has met around Auckland recently when she presented the second annual round of grants for the ‘Mayoress’ Fund for Youth.’

Charitable work

We established the fund to support the health, well-being, educational opportunities and employment of young Aucklanders. To date, more than $285,000 has been raised through charity events and more than $250,000 has been given in grants (the balance is held over to become a long-term legacy for Auckland’s young people).

Shan visited three organisations to present grants from the Fund and learn about what they do (thanks to Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and Franklin Local Board Chair Andy Baker for helping out with presentations in their local areas).

She visited PHAB Pasifika in Papatoetoe, First Foundation in Greenlane and the Rise Up Trust in Otahuhu and all of them showed the power of working in collaboration and partnership.

PHAB Pasifika

PHAB Pasifika supports young people with disabilities to design and run a weekly programme, which helps them build confidence, make new friends, develop a strong sense of cultural identity, and get skills and qualifications

In an event organised and presented by its young club members, Shan saw a performance by PHAB Pasifika’s cultural group, heard personal stories from individual members, and met some former members who are now qualified youth workers. The empowered and engaged young people she met made a real impression.

First Foundation

The next day she met two young Aucklanders whose lives were changed by First Foundation, an organisation that enables academically gifted young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to go to university.

It links the students with donor companies and organisations, which provide scholarships and on-going work experience, and with personal mentors who make a long-term commitment to support their young person.

Often the first in their families to go to university, First Foundation’s alumni are now amongst the graduates of New Zealand and international universities. The Foundation is 15 years old, and is starting to see its alumni return as mentors for the next generation.

Rise UP Trust

Shan’s third visit was to the Rise UP Trust. Originally started in a garage as a family project by founder Sita Sepule while she was on maternity leave from her teaching job, the Rise UP Trust draws the whole family into a learning programme where parents become role models and advocates for their children’s education.

I loved hearing about the people Shan met on these visits. These are Auckland’s success stories, committed people making a huge difference to the lives of our children.

Fresh Campaign

All these came as I had the honour of launching ‘Tick For Kids,’ a campaign to ensure that children are front and centre in the local election campaign.

The campaign was launched at Balmoral School and a Junior Mayor in the Chair session was an important part of the event.

The children asked some really probing questions about everything from our roads and foot paths to our sports fields and bus services.

‘Tick for Kids’ is an initiative of UNICEF, Save the Children, Barnardos and Plunket.

I encourage you to check out the campaign website (www.everychildcounts.org.nz) and while you are at it, have a look at Auckland Council’s youth website (putmefirst.co.nz).

All these organisations and initiatives are proving just how powerful it can be when we work together for the good of Auckland’s children.

Len Brown is Mayor of Auckland. Read another article by him under Homelink.

Photo :

Len Brown singing with children at Balmoral School

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