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Real heroes don’t wear capes 

Real heroes don’t wear capes 

17 November 2023 - Sunrise Foundation Heroe

A grant from Sunrise helped Big Brothers Big Sisters Tairāwhiti to match Jake (mentee) and Chris (mentor). 

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is part of the world’s largest volunteering network, providing tamariki with a mentor for an hour a week. A grant from Ross and Jackie McDonald’s named fund with Sunrise has been used to match Tairāwhiti’s first BBBS mentor and mentee.   

BBBS Tairāwhiti facilitator Tiffany Zyp says it’s a thorough process to match mentors and mentees, at a cost of approximately $2500 per match. Once approved, mentors are carefully matched with a child between 6 and 12 years old for a one-year commitment, then after that it’s up to those involved to decide whether the relationship continues. 

“The Sunrise grant paid for our first match of Jake and Chris. Jake’s mum was instrumental in bringing BBBS to Gisborne, so it’s great to see this match going ahead,” says Tiffany. 

Jake has no father present in his life, so when mum Gina Caroll stumbled across BBBS whilst scrolling online, she knew it was exactly the type of service Jake would benefit from.  

“For boys who don’t have a father in their life, not having that male energy is huge,” says Gina. 

Gina contacted BBBS head office and was excited to discover that they were looking to expand, eventually agreeing Gisborne would be a perfect location. 

“Jake is feeling cautiously excited to get started and is looking forward to the male company - having someone he can rely on to consistently turn up each week,” says Gina. 

The team at BBHS stress that you don’t need a super talent to be a mentor - the job’s 75% done if you just show up for an hour a week.

If being a mentor is something you’d like to find out more about, or if you know of a child who could benefit from BBBS’s services, email