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Tauranga kids will benefit from Big Buddy launch

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Big Buddy, an organisation that provides support for boys without fathers in their lives, has recently launched in Tauranga.

This extends the much-needed service beyond Auckland, Waikato, and Wellington.

Big Buddy provides support for boys who don’t have fathers in their lives, matching them with a volunteer Big Buddy who shows up, spends time and comes back - providing a consistent source of support and friendship that often lasts well into adulthood.

CEO Paul Burns says, "Being a Big Buddy is a generous yet simple gesture that makes such a difference to these boys. Our Big Buddies come from all types of backgrounds and life stages, but they all share a common goal - and that is to make a difference for these boys and give back in some way"

The Tauranga service has already sparked interest from men in the region. Many have expressed an interest in becoming a Big Buddy, and will now take part in a thorough screening process.

More than 900 buddies have been matched by the organisation over the years. An increase in confidence, happiness, and general wellbeing are among the benefits cited by boys and their mums or caregivers.

Tauranga was selected as the next place to offer Big Buddy services due to the number of enquiries they had from mothers and caregivers in the region.

"Tauranga is the fastest growing city in NZ at present - and with that no doubt comes increased need for services like Big Buddy. We are really pleased to have been able to extend our service into the region and are thrilled to have already made our first match," says Paul.

Little Buddies are aged between 7 - 14 years of age, although the matches often carry on well into adulthood through lifelong bonds created, says Paul.

"These years are the most formative and impressionable for a boy. A few hours a week kicking a ball, climbing trees or simply hanging out with a Big Buddy makes a tangible positive difference for these boys."

Big Buddy Tauranga mentoring manager Matt Anderson-Smith. Supplied image.

Matt Anderson-Smith is Big Buddy’s mentoring manager for the region, and moved to Tauranga almost a year ago.

"The Bay of Plenty has easily become home. I feel very lucky and proud to be matching the good men of this community with our boys, who all deserve a great mentor and friend in their lives.

“Making our first match in Tauranga was very exciting. I knew the pair would learn and grow so much together. There have been lots of adventures for them both to date and plans for more in the future. I am proud to be a part of that"

Big Buddy is one of the newest residents of Tauranga co-working space The Kollective. Mums and caregivers of boys aged 7-14 who would benefit from the service are invited to register interest at www.bigbuddy.co.nz

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