Youth Encounter’s mission is to unleash and release the potential in young people through a sense of belonging and value that gives them hope in their future.
It achieves this by providing exciting and engaging activity based programmes which may include activities such as surfing, dirt biking, wakeboarding and mountain biking. Their programs are therapy, mentoring, leadership training, camps, community-building events and workplace experience.
Funds from the Sutherland Self Help Trust were used to build a transportable therapy room providing a weathertight, private space compared to the tent previously allocated for this purpose.
Youth Encounter’s Therapy clients are rangatahi aged 11-16 years presenting with risk factors such as suicidal ideation, anxiety, disengagement from education, low self-image and gang affiliation. They are primarily referred from Youth Justice, Oranga Tamariki, Alternative Education Centres, the local Kahui O Ako group, police and whanau.
Therapy sessions are approximately 60% Cognitive Behavioural Therapy counselling and 40% activity. Integrating activities into the counselling process helps to break down barriers and engage with rangatahi that would not normally be open to traditional counselling sessions. The aim is to strengthen the young person’s holistic wellbeing and to empower them to make their own life-changing choices through challenging their thinking and teaching new mindsets.
Success stories include:
“As a result of the 10 weeks he has spent in the therapy program, we have seen significant changes in his behaviour and how he carries himself at school. He holds his head higher, he is less disruptive and more engaged in his learning. He has also become more open and more willing to interact with teachers and support staff. Mum commented that at home he had started using his manners more and had become more helpful around the home.” Learning Support Coordinator, Fairhaven Primary School
“We’ve appreciated the huge value and transformational support this (Dirt Bike Therapy) programme has provided Āpiti Hou (Alternative Education Centre) and our rangatahi.” CEO REAP Whakatane
“I enjoyed everything about my Therapy experience, but I really did enjoy being able to talk to someone about my problems and that I didn’t have to worry about what I shared might affect them.” Female Therapy participant
The new transportable therapy room