Tipu Skills for Life began at a local low decile primary school, in Tauranga Moana. The program was developed out of a need for early intervention with a group of 9 to 11 year old girls. The social worker (SWiS) in this school at the time, Claire Henry approached Stuart Caldwell, who ran a local youth agency to develop an innovative program that would truly respond to the needs of these young girls.
What was needed was local knowledge and a program that was culturally relevant to Aotearoa, New Zealand, one that connected and inspired positive sustainable change.
With the help of Claire, Stuart, and his wife Prue Caldwell began Tipu Skills for Life the final term of 2011. Since then, the program has been going from strength to strength, connecting with over 200 participants in eight local primary schools. The feedback from the rangatahi, their whānau, communities and professionals alike has been invaluable to the development of the program. This feedback inspires us to continue our work and to offer the program to as many communities as we can.
We are extremely proud to see how far this program has come, and the incredible positive impact it makes with every group of participants and their whānau. We are absolutely committed to continually growing the program through our use of reflective practice, evidence based evaluations, as well as professional and community input.
VISION & MISSION
To empower young people with Skills For Life to enable them to imagine and grow a positive future.
Tipu Skills for Life aims to work intensively through a year-long program, to build self-worth and nurture the current strengths of the participants. We offer practical life skills to empower participants to make a lasting positive change in their lives. We also commit to taking the time to connect with whānau, participant and their communities.
Stuart was involved in various businesses in Tauranga for over 25 years. He is married to Prue and has four adult children, two boys and two girls
Stuart took up the position as manager at Get Smart in April 2008 with a desire to give back to the community by working with young people in Tauranga Moana.
Get Smart currently has 20 Volunteers who help with their Street Help and Stoked Mauri Ora programs. Get Smart’s counseling service employs three clinicians who counsel young people with drug, alcohol or substance abuse issues. They also have three other part-time staff for administration, school programs, and Stoked Mauri Ora, a youth self-development program. The organisation works almost exclusively with youth who struggle with Alcohol and other Drug issues.
Stuart’s main work, is speaking and facilitating programs in primary and high schools and speaking to school classes, school assemblies and service groups about their work in the community.
Prue has lived in the Mount for most of her whole life. Prue is married to Stuart and together they have a blended family of 8 children and 11 grandchildren. Prue’s passion and love for those in the community and its wellbeing has driven her to get involved with youth from early childhood, to young adults. Prue has facilitated and coordinated many programs such as Mums & Bubs, YrChoice, Parenting Toolbox courses, and church youth groups.
Prue has been involved with the Tipu Skills for Life Program for the past 7 years as one of the developer’s team and facilitators, so is excited to also be part of its launch into the wider community as National Program Coordinator.