Helping our young people to thrive

By andreasvendsen on August 28, 2013

Harcourts' Debbie Brett, Bob Stubbs and CEO Hayden Duncan hand over the cheque to The Parenting Place CEO Bruce Pilbrow and team

By the age of 13 only 31% of girls and 27% of boys in New Zealand feel hopeful about the future.

It’s a disturbing statistic from the Ministry of Youth Development, and one The Parenting Place aims to change thanks to funding from the Harcourts Foundation.

The Harcourts Foundation has made a $31,850 grant to enable The Parenting Place to establish a life skills programme for intermediate age children.

The “tween” years – years 7 and 8 in school – are fraught with challenges that simply did not exist 10 or 15 years ago, such as cyber bullying and exposure to unsuitable material over the internet.

The Parenting Place, the highly respected organisation founded by Ian and Mary Grant two decades ago, is keenly aware that young people lack the mental and emotional maturity to handle many of the pressures they now face.

The Parenting Place aims to change this through the establishment of the “Attitude” intermediate school programme, similar to the very successful high school programme which reaches 250,000 young people each year.

Attitude’s objective is to encourage mental and emotional resilience and to help prevent youth suicide, teen pregnancy, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse and a low sense of self-worth.

The Harcourts Foundation grant will fund a three month research project with students, teachers, parents and educational experts to establish the content of the programme based on clear need.

And in 2014 the Parenting Place will deliver 93 student presentations, 100 workshops, 30 parent/student evenings and 10 teacher professional development sessions in 53 intermediate schools, impacting approximately 21, 332 students, parents and staff.

By 2019 the aim is to deliver the programme into 100% of intermediate schools.

The Parenting Place CEO Bruce Pilbrow says the Attitude high school programme was started in 1996 after a single benefactor made it possible.

“This time Harcourts is the single benefactor that is going to make our intermediate programme possible. We are deeply grateful,” Mr Pilbrow says.

Harcourts CEO Hayden Duncan says he is a great admirer of The Parenting Place.

“I believe whole heartedly in the work of The Parenting Place, which has made a significant impact on the lives of many New Zealand families. Everyone has children, grandchildren or friends who will benefit from this incredibly worthwhile initiative and we at Harcourts are humbled to be able to support them.”

The Harcourts Foundation was established in 2008 to provide support that helps, grows and enriches local communities. To date over $2m has been allocated to charities.

Harcourts is the proud sponsor of the inaugural ANZA Challenge taking place in October and raising money for the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. For more information go to