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WOMAN OF THE WEEK
22 April Louisa Wall
Power of Programs: Youth Services:
Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Big Brothers Big Sisters General Information
- How and when did Big Brothers Big Sisters establish in Adelaide?
- How does the program work?
- How to be a Big Brother or Big Sister?
- How to refer a Young Person?
- What are the benefits?
- How can I help?
- Matches stories
- Click here to view our Community Service Announcement
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Highlights
Big Brothers Big Sisters General Information | top
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a community based mentoring program that matches adult volunteers (‘Bigs’) to disadvantaged and isolated young people (‘Littles’). ‘Littles’ are aged between 7 and 17, and generally lack positive adult role models and support in their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters are currently working with young people in northern, north eastern and western suburbs of Adelaide and are always in need of great new mentors/volunteers. If you think you have some time and energy to offer a young person in need we would love to hear from you. We provide all the necessary training as well as ongoing support for our volunteers.
Call us at the YWCA of Adelaide on 8203 9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
'Big Brothers Big Sisters is based on the simplicity and power of friendships. All young people need to feel valued and important. Having an objective friend who listens and spends quality time with a child gives them a sense of value and worth'.
BIG BROTHER VOLUNTEERS ARE IN STRONG DEMAND DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF BOYS ON OUR WAITING LIST - PLEASE CALL 8203 9400 IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OR CAN NOMINATE SOMEONE THAT CAN TAKE ON THIS REWARDING ROLE.
How and when did Big Brothers Big Sisters establish in Adelaide? | top
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program is the largest and most prominent provider of mentor services internationally and has been operating in Australia since 1982. The YWCA of Adelaide has been operating Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2003.
How does the program work? | top
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a professional, volunteer mentoring program for young people who lack adult role models and support. Qualified staff carefully recruit, screen and train volunteer applicants to be uniquely matched to a young person.
‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ spend regular weekly time together, often on weekends, doing things that they enjoy. Some activities they have enjoyed are kicking the football, playing basketball, going to the movies, going on day trips, driving to the beach, walking the dog and generally having fun. These activities assist each match to develop a healthy and supportive friendship.
We are a unique program in Adelaide and pride ourselves on:
- Taking an early intervention approach
- Providing quality support, supervision and resources to each unique match
- Being cost-effective by sourcing mentors from the community
- Being proactive and self-empowering
- Supporting and liaising closely with all parties about matches
- Our professional and thorough approach to screening and matching
- Our long-term approach and commitment
Outing Ideas for 'Bigs'
- Mountain bike riding
- Free 2 hour bicycle hire at Bicycle SA, Hurtle Square
- Watch a local football match
- Build a kite
- Shoot some hoops
- Picnic & day trip to the country
- Go for a coastal drive
- Kick the football
- Dust off a board game
- Invent a recipe in the kitchen (challenge the TV chefs)
How to be a Big Brother or Big Sister | top
'Bigs' (volunteer mentors)
Big Brothers and Big Sisters come from a range of backgrounds. They are someone to trust, someone to talk to and to have fun with. We are looking for males and females who:
- Are mature and responsible
- Live within or close to, or are willing to travel to the Salisbury Local Council Area, the Port Adelaide Enfield Local Council Area, or the Tea Tree Gully Local Government Area.
- Have a driver's license and access to a reliable vehicle (not essential)
- Possess good general health and mobility
- Has time to devote to a Big Brother Big Sister friendship
- Has prior experience or regular contact with young people
- Is able to commit up to 1-4 hours a week to see the young person for a minimum of 12 months
- Has discussed potential involvement in the program with partners, own children and significant others
- Is willing to consent to screening and access agency support during involvement in the program
How to refer a Young Person | top
'Littles' (clients referred)
Little Brothers and Sisters share the need for someone in their life to help strengthen their confidence, self-worth and their relationships at home, school and within the wider community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is designed to be of greatest assistance to young people who are isolated and need additional adult support and friendship.
Current funding allows us to work with 7-17 year olds who live in the Tea Tree Gully, City of Salisbury and City of Port Adelaide Enfield Local Government Areas.
All young people involved in the program take part in a voluntary capacity and have time available to spend with their mentor. The 'Little' must also be willing and able to engage in a meaningful friendship with an adult mentor.
Parent/guardian permission is required for young people to be involved in the program.
What are the benefits? | top
Big Brothers Big Sisters has proven short and long-term positive effects for the young people involved. An impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters demonstrated that young people who have a ‘Big’ are less likely to start using drugs or alcohol, less likely to skip school and have better relationships with their parents. Further, research shows that Big Brothers Big Sisters is a cost-effective crime prevention model which enhances young people’s protective factors and reduces their risk factors toward anti-social behaviour.
As adults, former ‘Littles’ are more likely then their unmatched peers to go on to further education, earn higher incomes and have better relationships with family and friends. Studies also show that disadvantaged young people who have an adult mentor report improved self confidence, improved decision making skills and greater life satisfaction.
However, the benefits go both ways. Volunteering is a great way to expand your horizons, try new activities, build confidence and self esteem and be active. Most importantly, it’s fun- one study has even shown that participating in regular volunteer work can increase life expectancy!
How can I help? | top
You can get involved:
- As a corporate sponsor to expand the program and to help more 'unmatched' young people on our waiting list
- As a volunteer mentor
- With fundraising
- With promotion, advertising and marketing
- To make a client referral
Contact the Big Brothers Big Sisters Team to inquire on getting involved or to request an information pack.
Address: 17 Hutt Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8203 9400
Fax: (08) 8203 9498
I would like to donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters...
Matches stories | top
Partners | top
Big Brothers Big Sisters is currently funded by the Department of Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and City of Port Adelaide Enfield.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Highlights | top
The YWCA of Adelaide’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program is the proud national and state winner for the small to medium category of the prestigious NAB Volunteer Awards (2007). Volunteering Australia is also a key partner of this award program.
The NAB Volunteer Awards promote organisations who achieve best practice and innovation coordinating volunteer programs and services. It also recognises and rewards the vital work done by local volunteer groups throughout Australia. The awards began in 1997 and are now one of the largest and most successful volunteer recognition programs.
Thanks to the generous support of the following companies and individuals who volunteered their time and services to produce the Big Brothers Big Sisters advertisement:
- Black Sheep – script and project coordination
- Monkeystack - animation
- Bryan Brown – voice over
- Luke Godson – music composition
- Tracks Adelaide – sound production and final mix
- Oasis Post – final production
- The South Australian Film Corporation – voice record
Documents/Forms | top