We are delighted to see our funding and resources are helping the Hawkes Bay Trellis Trust, a small charity that aims to provide programmes that add value to schools and the community, which students can use as a safe structure to put down roots and grow strong and more resilient.
Through our 'Grants for Good' Program, they now have enough finance to provide one of their schools with a Shine Mentor for a year. One of the team will be able to go back into the school for an extra hour per week to help the girls apply the practical skills they learnt during the term, and provide ongoing support for them once they have completed the term.
1. Tell us a bit more about yourself (organisation)?
The Hawke’s Bay Trellis Trust is a small charity that aims to provide programmes that add value to schools and the community, which students can use as a safe structure to put down roots and grow strong and more resilient.
We deeply believe in the inherent value of every person. We encourage trust and openness through our genuine care and kindness so that students feel safe and supported to seek help or to begin a conversation about their needs.
We believe being proactive is important, recognising that without help, the ‘middle group’ of students, if not given tools now, have a greater chance of becoming a statistic, which is what we aim to prevent.
2. What are you doing? Or What is the primary focus of your research?
The Trellis Trust uses a curriculum called Shine Girl in two of our local Intermediate schools.
Shine Girl is a successful emotional resilience and confidence programme run by passionate volunteers. It is increasingly vital to have small groups where students feel safe to open up, and where there is a structure to support that vulnerability and to create a strength and skill from it. We ground each lesson in a Te reo Māori kupu, and kaupapa, making our sessions tailored for our NZ classrooms and teaching it in a way that is relevant for all our girls present.
We go into the schools once a week and spend the afternoon with a group of 10-12 girls, who journey through the term with us, which is around 9-10 weeks.
3. What inspired you to do what you’re doing?
When you are involved with children and youth, very quickly you can see the mounting pressure that this generation is under. The need drives us, but the girls inspire us. We see their uniqueness and worth, yet not all of them can see that when they first come to us. Each term we see the difference the programme makes in the girls lives, and it gives us such joy to know that we have been part of equipping them for the future. It is important to give them tools of emotional resilience which they can apply in a variety of ways.
4. Why did you choose to focus on this topic?
Students are increasingly vulnerable to the pressures of the day and many are not coping. Anxiety is a very real emotion for our girls and they feel the pressure regarding topics of body image, social media and general insecurity, to name a few. The beauty of the Shine Girl Programme is that we get girls from a wide variety of backgrounds. Girls who would never have talked to each other naturally, come together and find that they do in fact have things in common and many of them have the same fears, and goals.
For some of the girls we are encouraging them to use their voice and have more confidence in the classroom. For others, we are giving them hope in the face of suicidal thoughts and self-harming. Each of these students are our next generation of workers, parents and leaders. We must give them safe spaces and tools so that they are better able to cope today, and grow to be more stable and capable for tomorrow.
5. What made you decide to apply for an HealthCarePlus Grant for Good? (where did you hear about it)
One of our board members is a teacher at a High School, and through a publication she saw it advertised. She passed the information on to me and suggested I apply.
6. How was your experience in Appling for the grant?
One thing that stands out and is a highlight was getting the personal call from John Seed to tell me that our application had been successful. It was so nice to have that connection and care.
7. How has funding from HealthCarePlus helped? (to advance your research)?
One of the whakatauki we teach our girls is "Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini" - Success is not the work of an individual, but the work of many.
This funding will help us to continue to run our programmes and be a layer of support to the students. We also now have enough finance to provide one of our schools with a Shine Mentor for a year. One of the team will be able to go back into their school for an extra hour per week to help the girls apply the practical skills they learnt during the term, and provide ongoing support for them once they have completed the term.
Our Shine facilitators and teams are all volunteers, so this funding also allows us to thank them with a little extra petrol money. They give so much to these girls and we value them. Shine could not run without these amazing women who give so much of their time.
8. What does this grant mean to you?
When you are a charity and see so many needs, it can be hard to plan ahead when finance is limit. This boost of funding means we can plan and move forward a really strong 12 month period, taking into account both our girls and the volunteers.
I also want to express how encouraging it is to know that our application was read and others saw value in what we are doing . It is a credit to the HealthCarePlus team that they value and care about the grass roots efforts in our communities.
9. What would you say to others considering but hesitant in applying for a grant?
As I started to write the grant, two different times I reached for the cancel button, thinking ‘we’ll never qualify for this one’. Funding can be hard to get and we are a small organisation and I almost didn’t apply. So do take the time to write about your project, and know that your application will be consider alongside all the others.
10. What advice would you give to future Grants for Good applicants?
Don’t be intimidated as you write. Every good project has its place in the community and you don’t need to compare yourselves to other organisations.
11. What are you hoping to achieve?
The outcome of the girls time in Shine Girl is that each student is more comfortable in their own skin and therefore more able to participate genuinely in whatever activity they desire to be part of.
We hope to equip them with skills to have in their tool kit to navigate the difficulties that we know come up in life.
We teach our girls about respect and cause and effect, so they are also more likely to take responsibility for their actions and own up to and learn from their mistakes, which will allow them continued growth throughout their lives.
12. In what way will your project/course help make a positive impact on others?
While around 100 girls will go through the programme in the grant time-frame, we know that the number reached is far greater. Each of these girls have a variety of spheres of influence and the skills they learn can be transferred to others as they apply their new found confidence and truth. Some of these girls are older sisters. The Tuakana / Teina relationship is so strong so we know that younger siblings will also benefit.
If you are interested and want to know more this year's Grants for Good and how to apply for one then click here.