Two years and 23,500 mentoring hours later, 680 young peoples lives were changed for the better through the Kiwi Next Generation initiative.
Designed jointly with The Salvation Army and funded by The Warehouse Group’s suppliers, team members and supporters, the life-changing programme has officially come to a close after a successful pilot.
Providing vulnerable young Kiwis aged 16-19 with dedicated and tailored mentoring and practical support – including daily breakfast, shared meals, care packs, team building activities, access to healthcare and tools for further study or employment following graduation – the initiative delivered extraordinary outcomes.
Page, who was struggling with challenging family circumstances as well as severe social anxiety, left the programme with confidence and self-belief – things she couldn’t once imagine feeling.
Not only is she the happiest she has been in over 11 years, Page achieved the credits and qualifications needed to continue her studies at higher level.
Another student, Madison, who had been in trouble with the law, expelled from school, was living independent of her parents and had poor physical health, successfully completed the programme with credits that will ultimately lead her to her goal of further study.
“Even though I’m not the easiest kid to deal with, I’m treated with respect and kindness – and it’s appreciated,” Madison says of her time in the programme.
Having a consistent daily routine and people to engage with helped Madison’s mental state immensly and allowed her to overcome her biggest barriers, which were anxiety and anger.
By offering a unique combination of holistic and practical support, the programme provided a safe, inspiring and helpful platform to re-engage the students with learning, instill hope and offer opportunities for their futures.