Role model playing it back

Lending a helping hand . . . Pastoral Care Worker David Brand beside the clubhouse he has helped to build at Lumsden Primary School. PHOTO: HELEN MCFELIN

A pilot programme using building, bone carving, art and cooking to give children extra support at school has proven popular.

David Brand’s workshop club began at Lumsden Primary School last year and is now running in four Northern Southland schools.

Lumsden Primary School principal Danella Smallridge said 15 children were now taking part in the programme designed to engage children outside the traditional classroom setting.

‘‘It is about giving them a positive male role model to help with social and emotional development.

‘‘Children learn in different ways and this gives them something to look forward to each week,’’ she said.

Pastoral care worker Mr Brand volunteered to run the clubhouse programme when he saw there was a need in the community.

The volunteer role was supported by koha.

He said helping out was a way to give back after he was helped as a teenager.

‘‘I am a reject from the school system — it didn’t work for me.

‘‘Five families helped me out at the age of 15 and a-half and put so much into my life.

‘‘It is about helping the community; all it takes is for a good person to do nothing for things to get worse,’’ he said.

The volunteer role was an extension of Mr Brand’s previous pastoral care work, which included being a prison chaplain and working with homeless children.

‘‘I am starting to see the boys blossom and see they can do this.

‘‘I can see a neverending need for extra support in schools.

‘‘This programme is really cool and I want to be a part of it.’’