By PHILIP CHANDLER
Long-time Wakatipu buddy coordinator Nanette Benington’s thrilled with the support locals are showing her volunteer programme in which ‘Big Buddies’ spend time supporting ‘Little Buddies’.
She’s trained nine new big buddies this year, including Lee Hart, who’s pictured with his nine-year-old little buddy, Angelo Duarte.
They were among 12 pairs of buddies who last Sunday were treated by Real Journeys with a trip on the Earnslaw steamship and a Walter Peak farm tour.
Hart, who came to town from Nelson this year, says he decided during lockdown to ‘‘give back to the community’’ and become a big buddy.
Working with Angelo over the past month ‘‘has been great’’.
‘‘We’re both learning things about Queenstown off each other.
‘‘I show him a few things and he shows me a few things.’’
Little buddies, aged four to 12, are referred to the programme after being assessed as needing more adult support.
At the moment there are 27 big buddies matched up with their little charges.