We've been supporting youth in New Brighton since 1989! In school, out of school, weekdays, weekends, holidays... you name it, we've got something on. To find out more, read our website, read the newspaper reports, watch our YouTube Videos, or just pop into our offices for a chat.

Our Mission

Our Mission

We are a Youth and whanau support agency based at Grace Vineyard Beach Campus in New Brighton. We have worked for over 30 years on the East of Christchurch, running a wide variety of programmes, clubs, groups, events and various supports for hundreds of people each week.  A small staff team, is supported by an army of volunteers who want to make their community a better place!

Mission: Building Bright Futures with Young People in East Christchurch.

We currently do this through 10 key areas:

  1. Weekly Clubs Our weekly after school and evening clubs including: Boys Club (Years 1 – 6), Girls Club (Years 1 – 6), Kitchen Klub (Years 6-9), Craft Club (Years 6 – 9), Rock Solid (Years 7 – 8), Surge (Years 9 – 13), Basketball (Years 3 – 6)
  2. School Programmes Supporting the students in class, on lunchtimes, and through extra curricula activities at Rawhiti Primary School & Shirley Boys High School
  3. Holiday Programmes These run for three different age categories, Years 1 – 4, 5 – 9 in the first week every school holidays. We also run Breakaway programmes for Years 7 – 13 in December and July holidays.
  4. Camps We take youth on overnight and weekends away throughout the year, such as Easter Camp, Winter Camp, Famine Sleepover, AMPED Camp, Father Son Camps and Mother Daughter Days.
  5. One on One.  We provide a counsellor in 3 of our local schools each week for more specialist support for children and employ a mentoring coordinator who matches mentees and mentors for relational support, goal setting and a lot of encouragement.
  6. Mana Ake Wellbeing and mental health support workers in local primary schools, for children and whanau.
  7. Community Events Large community events such as I Love New Brighton, School Fairs, EPIC Dance Parties & our Family Fun Night.
  8. Parenting & Pre-school Programmes and partnerships such as our two Beach Tots Playgroups, Breast-feeding Drop In, Parenting Seminars, Babysitting Training for teens and Parenting Toolbox Courses.
  9. Amplify Music School Musical instrument Lessons, Youth Bands and music recording in our purpose build music rooms and in schools.
  10. Volunteer Training and Support We recruit, train and encourage volunteers to work in their community, on events, programmes and training events. We also host interns.

The 5 Ways of Wellbeing

Youth Alive Trust believes in the ‘5 Ways of Wellbeing’ and they fit into all our programmes!  Here are some examples how we’re making a difference in the wellbeing of young people:

1. Connect, me whakawhanaunga. Connecting young people with adult role models/youth workers/mentors. Creating a place of belonging. Connecting to people different to you, and creating new friendships. Connecting to a larger organisation with other support networks and connections to specialist agencies.

2. Give, tukua. Volunteers and mentors giving of their time. Giving back to their communities through the youth programmes, community events and community service projects.

3. Take notice, me aro tonu. Self reflecting in mentoring sessions. Goal setting and celebrations once they’ve been achieved. Inspirational and spiritual talks that stimulate thoughts of who they are in their community and the wider world.  Teaching and modelling of values.

4. Keep learning, me ako tonu. Music lessons. Sports training. Skills training such as crafts, cooking, activities, camps and new experiences. Training nights for volunteers.

5. Be active, me kori tonu. Volunteers running and joining-in the physical activities on youth programmes, such as sports, games, ice skating, table tennis, basketball, etc. Mentees getting away from their screens and doing something active with their mentor, such as a walk, frisbee or kicking a ball.


Our Vision for the east of Christchurch is to provide 1) “Safe” places that children, young people and families are 2) “Supported Holistically” (socially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) in a friendly and 3) “Fun” environment.  Programmes are led by enthusiastic and compassionate staff and volunteers who take every opportunity to build self esteem and try new activities through oodles of 4) “Encouragement”.  We provide an exciting and vibrant community, whose values are built on the Christian 5) “Faith”, that discriminates nobody and offers extra grace when often needed.  This 6) “Inclusive” attitude attracts people from a wide variety of circumstances, particularly those from low socio economic backgrounds, and those considered ‘At-Risk’ to themselves or others.  We recognise that we cannot do it alone, so we refer, 7) “Network” and collaborate with many agencies to provide the best possible support for the people we walk alongside.  We provide opportunities and training that encourages young people to serve others in various 8) “Leadership” capacities, that inspires a future of hope and makes both their and our world a better and brighter place!

Our History

Our History


In 1988, the leaders of New Brighton Baptist Church saw the need to serve the most vulnerable and needy members of their community.  They established “Youth Alive Trust” as a vehicle to serve the young people of the community through programmes, events and their staff and volunteers.  The original trust deed dated 27th September 1989 says that the purpose of the trust is to provide a “practical Christian service….in such a manner as to carry with it a good Christian testimony so that those served in any way will experience the worth and concern of Christian love” (quoted from the original trust deed).

Signed by Pastor Grant Brewster and the two other trustees, they employed Andrew Hill as their first community youth worker, who set-up and established the first Holiday Programmes and after school clubs.  Through different team leaders, interns and staff, the trust grew and diversified into many different areas.  Historic programmes included the Friday Night “Sandpit Drop-In”, Genesis Girls Group, Sublime, B.A.S.E, Trinity Club, Champions Boys Club, 3:15 Club and the massive South, North & Central Holiday Programmes.  We’ve had hundreds of volunteers, staff and interns over our 25 years, including Trust Managers Ross Banbury (1995 – 2001), Doug McConnell (2001 – 2005) & James Ridpath (2005 to present).  Contact us if you’re part of our Alumni and want to be kept upto date with what’s going on.

In the aftermath of the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes, the profile and work of Youth Alive Trust grew even further.  They were involved in many post earthquakes programmes, activities and events, which eventually saw them honoured with an Earthquake Award from the Christchurch City Council.  It also kick-started plans for the renovation of the building they have been based at since 1991, into a more purpose built Youth & Community Centre.  The building work has led to even more programmes, and partnerships with other community organisations to offer wider support for the family.  Read about some of the long term impacts of our work through the Amber-Rose Story.




To provide a place where young people are safe and feel safe - on our programmes, in our building and with our leaders. Safe from bullying, safe from abuse, safe from gangs, safe from negative peer pressure, and safe to be themselves.

Holistic Support

Recognising and supporting all the key areas of growth needed in an individual - socially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.


To provide programmes and activities that bring enjoyment, smiles and laughs to everyone involved - young people and volunteers. Laughter is a great medicine and we want to provide programmes that are appealing and create long lasting positive memories.


We provide oodles of positive affirmations, Hi-5's and big smiles that build self esteem and encouragement a 'have a go' attitude. 'Put-downs' and 'shaming' are not acceptable.


We do not discriminate against anyone from being a part of our programmes, whatever race, culture, religion, gender, or behavioural issue. Everyone starts with a clean slate and much grace is offered for those who slip.


Our values, code of conduct and morals are based on the Christian faith. These are modelled to young people and shared when appropriate. Matt 22 v 37-40 - Love God, Love your Neighbour.


Encouraging young people to be positive influences in their home, school and community. We aim to build up new young leaders and feed them back into the programmes that they were once a part of or other community, school or government programmes.


We aim to integrate ourselves into community life, networking with other community groups, schools, the police and council. We believe we are stronger working together than alone.

Our Team (2019)

Our Team (2019)

Our current employed staff are:

James Ridpath (1) Trust Manager (2004 - present)
David Du Preez (14) Programmes & HR Manager (2018 - present)
Daniele Ferreira (4) Administrator (2018 - 2019)
Josiah Dayo (unavailable for photo) Amplify School of Music Coordinator (2014 - 2020)
Matt Barnes (13) Primary Schools Youthworker (2012 - 2019)
Olivia Brown (5) Oscar Coordinator & Youthworker (2017 - 2018)
Rodger Hewitt (3) Youthworker (2017 - 2018)
Paddy Caffell (12) Youthworker 2018-present
Melissa Moore (6) Youthworker 2018-present
Teish Nicholson (2) Beach Campus Partnership Coordinator (previously Administrator)
Joel Brittenden (11) Mana Ake Team Leader
Stephen Dodge (9) Youthworker
Sue Dickson (8) Mana Ake (2018 - 2020)
Emma Christie (10) Mana Ake (2018 - present)

Our 2018 Teams are (* denotes Coordinator Positions):

Years 1-4 Holiday Programme

Stephen Dodge*, Josiah Dayo, Melissa Moore, Rodger Hewitt, Acea Holland, Aneisha Polglase, Connor Pittam, Izzy Major, Karisma Symons

Years 5-9 Holiday Programme

Olivia Brown*, Matt Barnes, Paddy Caffell, Teish Nicholson, Kegan Peterson, Owen Tempelton, Shannon Brennan, Skyla Mills

Breakaway Holiday Activities

Rodger Hewitt*, Matt Barnes, Stephen Dodge, James Ridpath, Josiah Dayo, Olivia Brown, Melissa Moore, Paddy Caffell

Primary Schools Youthworkers

Matt Barnes, Olivia Brown, Melissa Moore

Girls Clubs

Amber-Rose Te Huia*, Jade Harrison Best, Leanne Carter, Abbie Short, Aneisha Polglase, Jenna Hoban-Watson, Lilly Hoban-Watson, Makayla Te Haate, Meadow Bennett, Sarah Starr, Sykla Mill

Boys Club

Stephen Dodge*, Paddy Caffell, Acea Holland, Cole O'Reilly, Levi Gillian-Heaney, Henry Beeby-Zeier Kegan Peterson, Riley Harrison

Rock Solid

Matt Barnes*, Melissa Moore, Alan Hammersley, Alex Reddish, Finn Palmer, Henry Beeby-Zeier, James Ridpath, Jayden Wall, Jorja Tater, Olivia Brown, Shanay Te Haate, Steph Tapper


Rodger Hewitt*, Paddy Caffell, Bailey Whitnack, Chris Clemett, Eleanor Burghart, Emma Crichton, Henry Beeby-Zeier, Jayden Wall, Melissa Moore, Michelle Hammersley, Kate Hewitt, Stephen Dodge

Mana Ake

Joel Brittenden, Stephen Dodge, Emma Christie, Sue Dickson


Sandy Hitchens (contracted to schools), Gemma Phillips (casual)


Andrew Hill, Deborah Swaney, James Renwick, Linda Hampton, Scott Pickering, Tony Walter



We send out newsletters periodically to report on what’s been happening at the Trust and what our staff has been up to. If you would like to receive our newsletter, see the signup field at the bottom of the page.

Misc Reports

Misc Reports

Keep updated with all our latest Reports from the different areas of Youth Alive Trust

Annual Reports

Annual Reports



As a community organisation we value the support of a number of other agencies, partners and networks. These are our friends:

  • Canterbury Youth Workers Collective
    Canterbury Youth Workers Collective

    Youth Alive Trust is a member of the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective. We abide by their Code of Ethics, all our staff are individual members and we attend appropriate training throughout the year.
    Learn more

  • Oscar Network
    Oscar Network

    Our Holiday Programmes are a part of the Oscar Network in Christchurch. We attend local support meetings, obtain advise, get ideas from newsletters and attend training when appropriate.
    Learn more

  • Praxis

    We often send trainee interns to complete the Praxis course, and team with them on the progression of the staff member.
    Learn more

  • 24-7 Youth Work
    24-7 Youth Work

    24-7 YouthWork is a network of schools youthworkers, based in schools all around the country. We use the 24-7 framework in our partnership with Shirley Boys High School & Avonside Girls High School, and are part of their training and support.
    Learn more

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
    Big Brothers Big Sisters

    We partner with Big Brother Big Sister to provide mentors for young people in Central New Brighton Primary School and in the community. The presence of mentoring relationships such as these has been proven to be key in bringing hope to young lives, helping to keep them out of trouble and therefore giving them a future.
    Learn more

  • Christchurch City Council
    Christchurch City Council

    We join with and support local Christchurch City Events by sending our staff and volunteers to events such as the Skate Jam, I Love New Brighton and . We sit within the Burwood Pegasus Board Area and attend their locally organised community network meetings and give youth advice and support when asked.
    Learn more

  • Christchurch City Libraries
    Christchurch City Libraries

    We have a contract with Christchurch City Libraries to supply paid youthworkers everyday of the week in New Brighton Library.
    Learn more

  • New Brighton Community Safety Partnership
    New Brighton Community Safety Partnership

    We are one of the committee members of this group, set up to form ideas, make plans and implement ways to make and keep New Brighton a safer place for everyone. Members are: Renew Brighton, Youth Alive Trust, New Brighton Project, Positive Directions Trust, New Brighton Business and Landowners Association, New Zealand Police and Christchurch City Council.
    Learn more

  • I Love New Brighton
    I Love New Brighton

    An annual event organised by a few key community groups, including Youth Alive Trust, Christchurch City Council, Rawhiti Community Sports Inc and New Brighton Project
    Learn more

  • Renew Brighton
    Renew Brighton

    We are a part of a collaborative of local community groups that meet regularly to network, share resource and strategising to see Greater Brighton celebrated as a thriving, vibrant, self reliant village. Other agencies include New Brighton Community Gardens, Positive Directions Trust, New Brighton Project, Te Waka Aroha - St Faith's New Brighton.
    Learn more

  • EPIC Events
    EPIC Events

    We run joint EPIC Events with a number of other local youth agenices, including Dance Parties and Sk8 Disco's. The 5 intermediate groups involved in organising the events were; Rock Solid (Youth Alive Trust), City East (Gen Z), Activ8 (Parklands Baptist), Powerhouse (Burwood Christian Centre) & Xplode (Breezers Road Baptist), with the support of Blue Light Canterbury.
    Learn more

  • Canterbury Youth Services
    Canterbury Youth Services

    We are a part of the Canterbury Youth Services network and attend training, camps and meetings with other members.
    Learn more

  • Charities Commission
    Charities Commission

    We are registered with the Charities Commission of New Zealand, as advised by the IRD, grant making bodies and the government.
    Learn more