Helping others after ‘terrible’ start to life

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Her own early ‘‘ terrible life’’ in South Africa was the catalyst for Wendy Doyle’s decision to set up Dunedin non-profit organisation Rewind, to help young people pursue their interests and stay out of trouble.
– Not everybody gets that opportunity –
Ms Doyle (34) said she did not have ‘‘the best upbringing’’ in Durban, lacking direction and dropping out of school early to support her family.
If she had not been ‘‘saved’’ by a fellow South African woman who suggested she come to New Zealand at the age of 21, she might have turned to a life of alcohol and drugs.
‘‘Not everybody gets that opportunity.’’
The new organisation, which has a committee of seven, is in the process of getting charitable status. It is expected to be in operation for the new school year and will cater for those up to age
17.
Ms Doyle said those referred to the organisation through schools, social agencies or self-referrals would be given financial assistance and mentoring to help them achieve their goals.
Money might be required for things such as a pair of rugby boots, or travel to Australia for a singing competition.
In families where both parents were working on the minimum wage, it was often difficult to afford such things. There would be no stigma attached to the Rewind support and there would not be ‘‘strong criteria’’ about who could seek help. Confidentiality would be assured.
Those who benefited from the programme would be involved later in supporting fundraising and mentoring other youth.
Ms Doyle, who is soon to graduate as a nurse and is the mother of three young children, intends to work half-time as a mental health nurse and devote the rest of her time to the organisation, in a voluntary capacity. She will be assessing those referred to the service and involving other agencies and organisations as needed.
She felt she was ready to ‘‘give back’’, although this had been hard for her husband, Paora Phillips, to understand initially.
‘‘I think he gets it now.’’
She hoped one day when she was knitting booties she might see someone on television who might remember ‘‘this lady came along and kicked me up the bum and helped me’’.
New Zealand paralympians Anna Grimaldi and Holly Robinson will be guest speakers at the launch on November 11.
It was hoped money raised at the event would provide agood base for work to start next year. The organisation is waiting to hear the outcome of other fundraising applications. – Rewind will be launched at a black tie event at the Southern Rugby Club rooms on Friday, November 11, at 7pm. Tickets $50 from www.cosmicticketing.co.nz.