How much time will it take up?
Not as much as you think. Just one hour, once a week, can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

Why do you ask for a minimum of 12 months?
We ask for a minimum time commitment to provide our young people with reliable and consistent role models, for a sustained period.  It takes time to develop and form a trusting relationship and a lot of our young people may have experienced a lot of change in their lives, so consistency is key.

Can my match go for longer than 12 months?
Absolutely. BBBS aims to provide meaningful matches for brighter futures. We have matches here in the Manawatῡ that have been going on for over six years and we hope for many more years to come.

How will I be matched with a child?
The enrolment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences as well as the situation best suited for you. It also helps you to get to know us and the programme expectations. We take into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background and location. However, the final decision is yours.

How do children enter the programme?
Children and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, a counsellor, their church, a friend, advertising, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our programme.

Who are the young people in the programme?
Our young people come from many types of home environments and family structures; different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighbourhoods and schools that cross all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have a need for friendship with a caring adult.

Who are the mentors in the programme?
Our mentors come from diverse backgrounds, just like our Little Brothers and Little Sisters. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or special skills. Just a desire to have a positive impact on a young person’s life. What you have or haven’t accomplished isn’t an issue. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!

When can I see my Little Brother or Little Sister?
For our community-based matches, the mentor and their Little Brother or Little Sister decide together what they want to do, with parental approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and you see each other regularly. We will provide specific guidelines on expected frequency of activities with your Little Brother or Little Sister. Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of the parent, the young person and you. If your Little Brother or Little Sister is quite young, a shorter outing might be better.

For our school-based matches, you will see your Little Brother or Little Sister once a week, for one hour, during school hours. The date and time you visit will be decided between yourself and the school or teacher.

How much money should I spend?
We prefer that you focus on the time spent rather than money. BBBS aims to develop quality, long lasting relationships. And like with any other friendship, it’s not the money spent that makes it special.  You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning.

What are some good ideas for outings with my Little Brother or Little Sister?
Share an activity that gives you something in common. Buy a comic book to read to each other, play a board game, or take a ride in the car with the radio on while you discuss music! You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most importantly: keep it simple and have FUN!

Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
In the beginning it is important for you and your Little Brother or Little Sister to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time it is also valuable for your Little Brother or Little Sister to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others your Little Brother or Little Sister may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little Brother or Little Sister.

What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little Brother or Little Sister, a Caseworker from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a caseworker there to help. You’ll receive ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations and feedback on how you are making a difference, just by showing up! In addition to this you will be invited to attend the quarterly mentoring evenings and other events we host for you.

Where does Big Brothers Big Sisters funding come from?
BBBS Manawatu is a non-profit organisation supported by funds from generous donors including individuals, local government, philanthropic trusts and corporations.

How do I donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters?
If you would like to find out how to make a donation or regularly support Big Brothers Big Sisters, please click here.

How is my donation used? (Where does my money go?)
Your donation will support the Manawatu BBBS agency. As a professional mentoring organisation, BBBS requires resources to maintain well-trained staff to screen volunteers, make matches, and support relationships between mentors and Little Brothers and Little Sisters.