Department of Medicine Trust makes $10k donation

13 September 2022

Taranaki’s Big Brothers Big Sisters programme has been given a big boost, thanks to the Department of Medicine Charitable Trust at Taranaki Base Hospital.

The Trust has donated $10k to the initiative, which pairs up youngsters aged between six and ten with a mentor to help bring a positive adult role model into their lives to help them discover their potential. The one to one relationship is supported until the young person reaches the age of 18.

“We are blown away because it’s a huge amount of money and it’s not every day we get this size of donation,’ said Senior Constable Paul Lampe, who runs Big Brothers Big Sisters in the region. “We are very reliant on the generosity of the local community to be able to offer the programme in Taranaki, so a donation of this size is amazing.”

The money will be used to create a new match between a child and adult, which costs around $2,500 to do, and to fund extra curricular activities.

“If a child wants to play a particular sport for example, we can look at funding the registration fee and kitting them out in the gear they need to be part of a team or to take part,” explains Paul.

“Young people referred to our service are often experiencing a degree of isolation and as a result their family, school and sense of self are suffering. Supporting them in being part of an activity or sport can really help.”

The Big Brother Big Sister programme in Taranaki currently has more than 100 active matches.

The Department of Medicine Charitable Trust receives the proceeds from clinical trials carried out by members of the department, for example by Dr Ian Ternouth in Cardiology, and also the Renal Unit and Older Person’s Health. These funds then go into the community to enable medical improvements such as AED’s, clinical education, and community programmes.

‘This is the second time the Trust has been able to make a large donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, and we are very happy to do so,” says Ian.

“The programme does wonderful work to help our young people overcome challenges and obstacles in their lives so they can create bright futures for themselves.’

Image (l-r): Erin Johnston, Nic Earl and Pip Herbert from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Dr Ian Ternouth and Monika Childs from Te Whatu Ora Taranaki, representing the Department of Medicine Trust and BBBS Programme Director Senior Constable Paul Lampe

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