© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Cantab bosses to reach new heights in support of local teens

Cashel St Les Mills
Thirty well-known Cantabs will scale the four-storey Les Mills building on October 7 for charity.  Google Maps

Thirty Christchurch business executives have pledged to scale a four-storey building to fundraise for youth development.

City councillor Deon Swiggs, Tactix netballer Erikana Pedersen and Mike Pero are among the locals abseiling the Cashel St Les Mills building on October 6.

Each participant aims to raise $1000 for the Graeme Dingle Foundation, which provides ongoing support to 5000 Canterbury teenagers per week.

Deon Swiggs, who "absolutely hate[s]" heights, said he would confront his fears to benefit disadvantaged youth.

"I know how these things can open up doors for young people who don't normally get these opportunities. But also open their mind to the possibilities of how they can progress in their lives."

Project K, one of the foundation's four youth development courses, provides local teens with the confidence and skills to become young leaders in their communities.

Canterbury regional manager Noeline Allan said the programmes were designed to help individuals who "probably didn't get the best chance at life from the get-go".

Participants learnt to give back to their communities and were paired with adult mentors who supported them in achieving their goals.

"The first thing we do in Project K is take them away on a three-week wilderness adventure," Allan said. "The day they come back there's not a dry eye in the house."

Allan said the $35,000 trip offered teens an experience they never would have had without Project K.

"It's so transformational."

project k banner 3 nicky sliderhero
The Graeme Dingle Foundation takes Project K students on a $35,000 wilderness adventure. Graeme Dingle Foundation

The foundation helps about 25,000 Kiwis aged 5-18 each year.

It aims to raise this number to 50,000 by 2025.

Since its expansion to Christchurch in 2002, the foundation has delivered its services to low decile areas across the city.

Allan said if fundraising and donations allowed, the foundation would take its programmes to schools in the Linwood area.

Participants for the Drop Your Boss event have already raised more than $7000 through Givealittle pages.