It’s a WRAP

by Nettie Stow

Looking back, looking forward….

2018 was a big year in the WIO story in so many different ways. We delivered 10,201 participant days of activities – we’re pretty sure that’s our first year over the 10,000 mark with 3,433 individuals on our various programmes. 3,139  credits were achieved by secondary students towards their NCEA and many students have gone on to work experience, jobs or further study following a programme. We trialled new programmes such as Service Industry Internships  and Tourism Operations – both designed to add in an extra layer to Cultural and Adventure Tourism programmes and both filling up fast for 2019.

We joined forces with both the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Hillary Award and William Pike Challenge Award to give more opportunities for our young people to experience success and build those essential personal and social skills. Other fantastic partnerships included the programme with Sport Tasman to engage with the youth of Kaikoura post earthquake – awesome to be involved in this project.

In terms of staff, we are so lucky to have a strong Home Team and Tutor Team with the training of new tutors at the end of 2018 setting us up well for 2019 and beyond – there is a wonderful energy about WIO just now with all those fresh new ideas and faces :). Our Board also welcomed new faces and we said good bye to Tom Speers  – thank you for your input Tom – you leave WIO in a good space.

We’ve enjoyed working with groups from overseas – sometimes tourists, or students on gap years or international students at our local schools. Being able to merge the international visitors with our every day programmes has the effect of enhancing the learning for everyone.-It’s certainly an area we’d like to work in more as it also provides an independent income source for our community work.

In December we celebrated Hazel Nash’s 70th birthday here at WIO – Hazel established WIO 33 years ago and donated the land WIO stands on – you’re a true legend Hazel! And wonderful to have the original WIO staff and volunteers on site again. They too are full of youthful energy!

Looking forward to 2019 we have a few developments in the pipeline – the most exciting of which is a new septic system – good bye porta-loos! Thank you to everyone who put up with the less than ideal toilet situation! We’re rolling out a few new programmes including Environmental Sciences and expanding our Adventure Therapy work with a few other initiatives to roll out during the year. Watch this space 🙂

So thank you to you all for the amazing support, aroha and care you have show to WIO – we want you to know how much we appreciate it and that we are REALLY looking forward to working with more people in more places in 2019 inspiring positive change in individuals and communities.

The WIO Team

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