Generosity Leads to Huge Jump

Press Release – Whenua Iti

A significant increase in donations and funding has seen a 60% rise in the number of children and teens able to take part in a popular Whenua Iti Outdoors Adventure Programme called “The Journey’ in just a few years.
News Release

For Immediate Release

December 12 2011

Generosity Leads to Huge Jump in Youth taking Whenua Iti’s Journey of Discovery

A significant increase in donations and funding has seen a 60% rise in the number of children and teens able to take part in a popular Whenua Iti Outdoors Adventure Programme called “The Journey’ in just a few years.

“The Journey” is a week-long action-packed outdoor adventure held in the school holidays. Whenua is based in Lower Moutere.Lead by Whenua Iti’s experienced staff, the course is designed to increase confidence and resilience, build outdoor skills and knowledge and create a memorable and fun experience. It can include tramping, mountain biking, kayaking, and camping in the Nelson/Tasman region.

Funds of over $2000 raised at Whenua Iti’s berry and ice-cream stall at the recent Country Occasion at Neudorf Vineyards were the latest addition to generous funding and donations that will enable a record number of young people to participate in The Journey next year.

In 2009, 60 teens aged 13-17 took part in a Journey. This year 78 children took part including 10 on a new Journey for 11-13 year olds, thanks to fund-raising from Whenua Iti founder Hazel Nash and Springhill Charitable Trust.

Places for 2012 have jumped to 96 thanks to generous funding from both Family and Community Services, Child, Youth and Family Services, the Canterbury Community Trust, The Community Organisation Grants Scheme, the McKee Family Trust and the Sarau Festival .

Whenua Iti Manager Michelle MacNeil says it’s fantastic that they’ve been able to take more young people on a Journey but there’s a still a long way to go.

“The Journey’s are so popular we have waiting lists and at the current levels we can only accommodate less than a third of those who are referred or apply for a course. Our aim, with the help of funding and donations, is to be able to take at least half of all those who want to go on a course by 2013,” says Michelle.

Comments from those who have been on recent Journeys show the enthusiasm they develop: “I have learnt how to deal with certain leadership situations, navigation, plant identification and how to be more confident in my own decisions.” “I learnt a lot, fantastic instructors, they were in control and took care of the group but we got more opportunity to make our own choices. “ “They left important decisions up to us which helped us learn to make decisions, sometimes under pressure.”

Michelle MacNeil says parents notice the difference after a journey.

“We get so much feedback about how a journey experience has changed lives. I’ve had parents say to me that when their son came home he was ‘like a new boy.”

Whenua Iti introduced Journeys for 11-13 year old for the first time this year and they say it’s been a great success and thanks to generous community support, they’re now able to offer 24 children in this age group the opportunity to go on ‘The Junior Journey’ holiday adventure next year.

The next Journeys are in January with places fully booked but applications for Journeys in April open in February.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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