Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute

Young Wellingtonians now have a comfortable place to be, thanks to a grant from the Mazda Foundation.

Mazda Foundation funding of $8,999 upgraded the Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute (BGI) broken furniture, which had exposed springs and broken legs for a new lounge and a brand new laptop.

The BGI’s Open Door Service chill out zone has four new couches, a coffee table and rugs and cushions and is now a functional area to hold meetings. “For the past 15 years we’ve been replacing second-hand furniture with more second-hand stuff every year,” says BGI youth worker Ani Prasad. “When adults come together for a meeting we don’t expect them to sit on couches propped up with concrete bricks – young people are important too. We’ve been able to create a special space which gives our young people a sense of pride.”

The laptop will be used as a communal computer for programme meetings and student projects and in turn will lighten the load on youth workers’ PCs.

Established in 1883, BGI provides holistic youth development for 9 to 25-year-olds through a raft of services including mentoring, events, employment training, dance and arts programmes, counselling and parenting courses.