Hawke’s Bay Charity helps 100 children in 2016

Even those who dedicate themselves to helping others occasionally need a helping hand. Now, thanks to the guidance of a volunteer mentoring service, a Hawke’s Bay Trust is supporting more people than ever. 
The Leg Up Trust, based in Hastings, works with disadvantaged children who suffer social, behavioral or emotional problems. All other avenues have failed with these children so the Trust dares to be different, giving them a second chance in life.
Every year the Trust has supported more than 100 disadvantaged children. The head of the Trust, Ros Rowe, has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of others through her passion for horses but after 15 years running the Trust she realised she needed help herself.
“We don’t turn anyone away. We are trying to stop the rot of the constant rejection some of these children face. But, 2016 has been a challenging year for the not-for-profit sector. I was so focused on the children and realised I needed a little help with the structure, planning and fundraising for the Trust.” Says Ros.  
“We provide strong and clear boundaries so that the young people develop a sense of right and wrong and learn to focus on their positive attributes. The children are all loved and nurtured unconditionally.” 
To meet the challenges, she turned to Community Mentors, a national not-for-profit organisation that helps community groups develop and grow.
“I was put in touch with Steve Higgison at Community Mentors and through his help was able to bring some process and order to things,” says Ros.
Just like Ros does with her students, Steve was able to show her a different perspective on running the Trust, bringing in practical procedures and tighter organisation.  
Steve, who has been a volunteer mentor for six years, used his experience from working within the financial services, infrastructure and logistic sectors to help. 
“Many organisations have good intentions but need refocusing from time to time. That’s what I worked on with the Leg Up Trust.”

“We were able to sit down, look at the purpose and values of the Trust and create a plan from there,” says Steve. 
Steve and Ros have worked together since the start of the year. Their collaboration   has enabled the Leg Up Trust to provide an increased concentration towards helping the many disadvantaged children they work with. 
Ros added; “From children and teens who have suffered from bullying, to young people slipping into patterns of criminal offending, the Leg Up Trust shows people a different path to take to become better members of the community”.
“With Steve helping us, we’ve now have the processes and order in place to continue to help others. It’s been a fantastic experience and one I’d certainly recommend to others in a similar position.”