© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Increase in demand for youth foundation in Hornby

Travis Mitchell
Hornby High School students during Project K
KiwiCan Hornby School  The Graeme Dingle Foundation (Supplied)

Graeme Dingle Foundation is not "the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff". It's the "playground at the top", says general manager.

The Graeme Dingle Foundation's Canterbury region general manager Chris Davis provided an update on to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board last week about the work that the group has been undertaking with school students in the Hornby area.

Davis said there had been in increase in demand from schools across Canterbury to participate in the programmes with seven new schools joining the Kiwi Can family and 3300 students now in the programmes every week.

He said 566 students from Hornby participated every week in the programmes. Of those, 126 were from St Bernadettes, 175 from Gilberthorpe and 265 Hornby High School.

The Foundation teaches kids about integrity, respect, positive relationships and resilience.

Davis said the organisation was pre-emptive.

"We are not the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. We are the playground at the top."

Three quarters of the schools the foundation partners with in Christchurch are Decile 1-3. 

The Foundation provides three programmes: KiwiCan, a life skills and values course for primary school-aged children; Stars, a mentor training scheme for Year 12 and 13 students; and Project K, a an outdoor education programme.

Project K lasts 14 months and is for Year 10 students. It involves a 21-day expedition where students are dropped 200km away from Christchurch and make the journey back themselves carrying tents, water and food.

"The experience is life-changing for the kids," Davis said.

The Graeme Dingle Foundation was founded by Sir Graeme Dingle and Jo-Anne Wilkinson in 1995 with a vision to help Kiwi children.

The foundation is partially funded by the government but relies heavily on sponsorships and donations. Donate Here

PK In the rain Hornby High 2019
Hornby High, Project K in the Rain 2019 The Graeme Dingle Foundation (Supplied)