Making the right choices

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Three hundred Wakatipu schoolkids are attending free one-day communication seminars – thanks to local people digging deep for funding. 

Generous Queenstowners have fronted up with miore than $45,000 for the Get Dotted! programme, introduced here by Fae Robert­son and Joan Saunders from Wakatipu Victim Support to help students learn relationship skills. 

Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils attending the three one-day programmes – which start on July 7 – will identify different personality types and learn how best to deal with each type of person. “We spend so much of our time helping those in crisis and trauma. We see Get Dotted! as a wonderful option to provide our youth with the tools to make choices and be the best they can be,” Robertson and Saunders say. “We thought this could be a good proactive programme as opposed to fixing the relationships later.” 

Robertson says everyone approached – from the hire company to business sponsors – didn’t hesitate to help, including one anonymous local who dished out $20,000, enough to single-handedly cover 200 schoolchildren’s attendance. 

Rather than a one-off, Victim Support hopes to make the seminar an annual event for local schoolkids.
“We won’t save every soul on the block but at least we’ll have a good go at it,” Robertson says. 

A Get Dotted! preview is being held at Memorial Hall next Wednesday so parents, teachers and anyone else interested can sample how the programme works and polish their own people skills. 

Tickets are $20 for one and $15 thereafter if you’re with others. Funds raised from the preview go towards next year’s programme.