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Teenage leaders show the way

A clothing collection for the De Paul House, a beach clean-up and supporting a fundraising Gala at the Wilson Home are only three of the projects Takapuna Grammar Schools’ Young Leader’s Club have tackled in the past year.
The Young Leaders’ Club is a committee, started by some enthusiastic students, searching for their chance to give back to the North Shore community.
“Initially, a group of us went to Ms Basse, the senior manager of our year, with the intent of finding out what sort of leadership roles we could adopt in the school. She suggested that we start a young leadership group, and it has been running ever since,” says Danielle Desvaux de Marigny, one of the founding members of the committee.
This inspiring group of friends has been showing true spirit, keeping a keen eye out for those in the North Shore area who may need some extra support. In the short time they have been operating, The Young Leaders’ Club has an impressive track record. Numbers are growing, with the committee already up to 14 members.
The first project they decided to tackle was a clothing collection for the De Paul house, a charity organisation in Northcote that provides housing and family support services. They work with homeless families, helping them get back on their feet and re-establish themselves in the community. The Young Leaders’ Club organised and ran a clothing collection for three and a half months. Their fellow students donated any unwanted clothing, which was given to the De
Paul house.
 “Collecting clothing for the De Paul House was our first project. This made it very important because it was us creating our reputation. We wanted to do well and try our best. By the time it was over I think my team members and I had made a good impression and we were happy that we were able to fulfil our goal,” explains Kelsey Schutte. Over 50 bags of clothing were collected and distributed during this time, to those in need.
Next, the students decided to support the environment, getting their hands dirty with a beach clean-up and tree restoration in Long Bay. During the day the team got together with Takapuna Grammar School’s Environmental club and showed their environmentally friendly side by picking up all of the litter on Long Bay’s gorgeous water front. “It was great to know that we were helping to keep the environment clean,” says Pip Charlett-Green. “It was a fun experience to be able to spend a day outside in the sun with my friends.”
Restoring trees by weeding and cleaning up the area in Long Bay Regional Park also proved to be a satisfying day. Encouraged by the beautiful weather the devoted students restored over 70 trees, helping to return the park to its
natural glory.
The next event took place a little closer to home. The Young Leaders’ Club gave their lively assistance to Takapuna Grammar School’s neighbours, The Wilson Home Trust. Late last year the Wilson Home held a fundraiser to raise money for the Trust. It was a splendid day with entertainment everywhere, from the bands to the book stalls. And don’t forget of course the all-important bouncy castle and slide manned by The Young Leaders’ Club, which kept children entertained for hours. Committee member Sarah Han says: “It was great to see people having so much fun and helping out with the event was a great feeling!”
The Young Leaders’ Club’s most recent project is currently under way. They are supporting Onepoto Primary School, in Northcote. Onepoto is the only Decile 1 school on the North Shore. On hearing this, The Young Leaders contacted the school to see if they could offer any assistance. They left with a grand plan in mind, to paint the faded courts of the primary school so that the students had a fun area to play at morning tea and lunch times. Unfortunately, they soon found that their plan was a little too ambitious and would require expertise they just did not have access to. This didn’t faze them. They concocted a new plan; to buy sports equipment such as skipping ropes and hoola-hoops for the children, as well as giving the school a cheque which they could use for something such as new gazebos.
They faced another obstacle, finding a way to raise the money. However, being the bright students they are, they came up with a plan. They approached the school prefects and asked if they could use the next school mufti day as an opportunity to raise the funds. Later that term, tiger and penguin ‘onsies’, dressing gowns and slippers were just a few of the strange outfits seen at Takapuna Grammar School. Every cent, of the over $1200 raised on the pyjama themed mufti day, will go towards purchasing the sports equipment the committee looks forward to presenting the school sometime in the next few weeks. ”It was not exactly what we planned, but it’s still good,” says Danielle.
“Coming up with our next challenge is always the most difficult part. However, once this obstacle is over come, we tend to be right on our way to achieving something great,” Kelsey says.

By Lizzie Vercruyssen. If you have any ideas for The Young Leader’s Club’s next project, you can contact Kelsey on 022-641-6981.

by Channel Editorial

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