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Blue Light shines for youth



18 MF-Bluelightcamp1-767Two recent initiative’s focused on supporting self-confidence and encouraging the spirit of local youth have become a reality after receiving support from locally gathered funds.

Based at Wellsford Police station, youth-empowerment charity organisation North Rodney Blue Light has been able to send three Mangawhai teenagers to a life-skills adventure camp as well as fund a fishing training program for 20 more, thanks to receiving a grant from Mangawhai Community Opportunity Shop Trust in March. 

Held at Motu Moana Scout camp at Green Bay, Auckland, and run in conjunction with NZ Defence Force Youth Development Unit, NZ Police and Blue Light staff, the five day camp gave 30 students, including the three from Rodney College, a chance to experience a wide range of challenging activities while gaining up to 12 NCEA credits. 

Blue Light community youth coordinator Shane Gould attended the camp, assisting with leadership and ensuring youth were engaged in the adventure which included indoor rock climbing, hot pools and white-water rafting, as well as camp tasks such as drill, classroom work, and team and communication challenges. Students also had visits from police eagle helicopter, crime scene officers, team policing, dog squad and presentations from the Defence Force, giving valuable insight into the many career options available, Gould says.

“After the initial shock of being introduced to the Defence Force culture the students soon got into their routine and by the end of the week they were all able to parade proudly in front of their parents and caregivers at their graduation,” he says. “It was enjoyable, the input, resources, perseverance and professionalism from the students and all the staff, contributed to making these camps a success.”

Parent feedback reflects the possible results of the experience, with one mother saying after having a ‘tough couple of years’, how great it was to see her son’s strength, confidence and ‘belief that he has a future and that he can make a difference’ be restored.

Blue Light’s second initiative, Mangawhai fishing training program is scheduled for the first week of the school holidays, October 4-6, with support from Mangawhai Boating & Fishing Club, Coastguard Boating Education, Ministry of Fisheries and other local community people. Gould says the program is based on the old adage ‘give a person a fish and he eats for a day but teach a person to fish he will eat for a lifetime’.

“The aim is to educate youth who may never get an opportunity to enjoy New Zealand’s biggest recreational sport,” Gould says. “The programme also shows how important it is to relate to other people, the environment and understand the equipment and personal responsibilities with safety.” 

Helping to bolster youth confidence as well as NCEA credits via adventures, challenges and working as a team: a recent Blue Light camp has proved successful for participating students. 
18 MF-BLrainbow-502North Rodney Blue Light also subsidised over 200 intermediate aged youth from Mangawhai, Wellsford and Mahurangi, to attend the annual Blue Light Rainbows End Fun day on September 9. Mangawhai Senior Constable Graham Gough joined in the fun, possibly taking on the Fearfall and Corkscrew roller coaster?

“The branch really appreciates the support of local police staff and parent volunteers that helped out on the day,” Blue Light Youth coordinator Shane Gould says. “Thanks also to the bus sponsors, Mason Contractors, Mason Containers, Wharehine Contractors, Warkworth RSA and the Oxford Community Sports Trust.”


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