North Harbour News : August 26th 2011
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Friday, August 26, 2011 Visit our website elections.org.nz Freetext your name and address to 3676 Freephone 0800 36 76 56 Visit any PostShop About a quarter of the young people aged 18 to 29 in your area are still not enrolled to vote! With the General Election and Referendum not far away it's important we can all have our say. If you know anyone not enrolled, please help by getting them an enrolment form. It's easy...CAN YOU HELP? Buddy up for event Good buddies: Steven Ludford and Stone Simpson show what the Big Buddy programme is all about. By KERRY GALLAGHER THE importance of male mentoring is the message behind Sunday's fun-filled Superheroes day. The interactive activity day is in aid of Big Buddy, an organisation promoting male mentoring of boys. And the likes of Steven Ludford and Stone Simpson put a human face on the pro- gramme. Mr Ludford, from Wainui, has been mentoring 11-year- old Stone, from Stanmore Bay, for about a year. And he says there are big benefits for himself as well as the young- ster. The 54-year-old says Stone's father died and he was living with his aunt. He was a fantastic kid'' but needed a mature male influ- ence in his life. Now the pair regularly enjoy activities together such as swimming, bike riding, or just kicking a ball around''. Mr Ludford says it's a lot of work but well worth it. For about three months I thought do I want to be a part of this?' Then I decided I wanted to give something back.'' Mr Ludford has a 28-year- old daughter but says the buddy relationship is differ- ent. Stone's father had done a great job with him, which was evident because he was a pleasant and well-mannered lad''. You have to remember you're not a parent. You're there to guide them and point them in the right direction,'' he says. It's similar, but you have to build the relationship with them and with Stone I found it easy to click.'' Big Buddy North Shore co- ordinator Martin Hosking says children gain confidence from the programme and the big buddies enjoy the chance to give back. Mr Hosking says mentors generally fall into two categories. There are those who never had a father and so appreci- ate the need, and those who had a great relationship with their father and want to share that with others. Mr Ludford says he falls into the latter category. The Superheroes day is at the Stanmore Bay Reserve and The Leisure Centre on Sunday, from 11am to 3pm. It will feature a variety of interactive displays from emergency services and sports. FUN DAY FOR SUPERHEROES Best mates: The Johnson family, from left: Joe, Topo, dad Paul, Adam and Shaun. Paul Johnson says he is no superhero. But he does fit the bill for Sunday's Superheroes day. The Gulf Harbour resident has four sons, including Warriors rugby league sensation Shaun Johnson. And given that he raised the boys himself, he is keen to be at the Stanmore Bay event. Superheroes is an interactive fun day and showcases the relationship between children, and their fathers or male mentors. Shaun is in Australia with the Warriors, but Mr Johnson and his other three sons Adam, Joe and Topo will be there, as will the Hibiscus Coast Raiders Rugby League Club to which they are connected. Mr Johnson is a businessman and has a black belt in karate. But he rates being a solo father as his greatest achievement. ''My boys have always been my focus, my motivation and my drive. Never wanting to let them down, leading by example, wanting them to be proud of me, always being there for them. ''I have no doubt that my input into their lives has helped shape them into the confident people they are today.'' Mr Johnson believes being a positive father or male mentor has a huge impact in a child's life. He became a caregiver for Child, Youth and Family in 2008 and looks after exchange students. In the past three years he has taken in 10 students, and has two 15-year-olds from Germany and Brazil staying with him. Whangaparaoa College has booked his services for next year's exchange students too. The family's story fits with the ideals of the Big Buddy organisation.
August 19th 2011
September 2nd 2011