10 Oct Vulnerable secondary school students get extra care with new support initiative
Categories: Event, News
An initiative to offer vulnerable teenagers extra emotional support at secondary school could soon be rolled out across the region.
Marlborough 24-7 Youth Trust set up a special programme to extend the level of emotional support available to high school students earlier this year.
Two youth workers were appointed to Marlborough Girls’ College and the strategy could be seen in all of Marlborough’s secondary schools if funding can be found.
Trustee of the Marlborough 24-7 Youth Trust Gerrie Mead says the organisation was established with the goal of placing youth workers into all of Marlborough’s secondary schools.
Gerrie says the initiative was geared towards helping students deal with pressurised situations.
But she revealed the service could not be expanded unless further funding was found.
“The Trust has worked hard to secure funds to initiate the programme within the girls’ college, but was seeking the support of the corporate community to ensure the continuity of the programme, prior to expanding further into more schools.
“The initial response from the girls’ college has been outstanding, Rose and Sarah, the two youth workers appointed, have already integrated and are working well alongside the schools own guidance staff,” she says.
Assistant principal at Marlborough Girls’ College Janine Sorensen says the appointment of youth workers, for 10 paid hours a week each, allowed the school to extend the support they could offer their students.
The programme has been backed by charitable grants and received financial support from the Nativity and Elim Churches in Blenheim.
Janine says the new scheme has already proven to be “invaluable”.
“Whilst the programme is very much in its infancy, we are seeing some very real benefits.
“Having someone that the girls can relate to, are of a similar age and have often gone through similar challenges, can provide valuable support for students facing increasingly complex life choices.”
The 24-7 programme has proven a hugely successful model across the country with over 70 schools participating, Janine says.
“With the help of the local business and the community we hope that we can add all of Marlborough’s Secondary Schools to that list.”
The Trust operates programmes in more than 74 schools throughout the country, employing over 175 youth workers.
Excerpt taken from: The Marlborough Express, July 12, 2017