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Mentors hear messages from the heart

Mentors for the Christchurch branch of charity Big Brothers Big Sisters have seen first-hand the difference they are making to the lives of young people.


“It means something to every individual when they feel that someone has made them feel special,” founder and manager of Christchurch Big Brothers Big Sisters, Matthew Button said.


“We see it in their smile and we see it in their confidence, they come out of themselves and they grow and blossom.”


In a video produced to raise awareness of the ANZ Staff Foundation and the funding to local charities, young mentees were asked on camera to explain the impact their mentor has in their lives.


The video was then shown to the mentors.



Young mentees from Big Brother Big Sister explain the impact their mentor has in their lives - download video here:


For 13-year-old Samantha, who has been matched with her mentor Lindy for almost three years, the relationship has helped build confidence.


“I used to be quite lonely when I was at school, so it was kind of good to have the company,” Samantha said in the video.

“I was always really lonely and I didn’t have much friends and wasn’t that popular, so it was nice to talk to someone who actually wanted to get to know me a bit better.”


Big Brothers Big Sisters establishes mentoring matches for children who are missing out for one reason another by recruiting volunteers from the community.


The organisation has been operating in New Zealand for 21 years and has just celebrated its 500th match in Christchurch. It relies on donations and charitable grants, like funding from the ANZ Staff Foundation.


“The funding that is provided through ANZ has helped us to find mentors for more children. It is about communities connecting, ANZ and Big Brothers Big Sisters working together for these vulnerable children,” Mr Button said.


“The Staff Foundation is an opportunity to be part of something that makes a big difference in our communities,” said Antonia Watson, ANZ’s managing director of Retail and Business Banking, and Chair of the Staff Foundation advisory board.


“We are lucky to have so many wonderful charities in New Zealand, since its inception in 2000 we have donated over $4 million to more than 550 of those local charities.”


ANZ staff who are members of the Staff Foundation make a contribution every fortnight from their pay, every dollar donated is matched by the bank and 100% of this goes directly to community charities.


There are two funding rounds every year, in February and August, when charities can apply for funding.


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