The IMPACT program facilitates youth-led environmental projects that engage and give back to the local community. They focus on a strengths based approach, supporting youth do develop their individual and team strengths, their interests and passions.

About the Program

YOUTH-LED: which means it’s youth ideas that are turned into an action projects, not those of the IMPACT facilitators. This empowers youth, giving them opportunity to develop leadership skills and enjoy their own successes.

PROJECT BASED: IMPACT usually runs for 1 hour per week for 8-10 weeks during a school term. By the end of the term the group will have brainstormed their ideas, chosen a project, planned resourcing needs and time management requirements, completed the project and celebrated their achievements.

ENQUIRY LEARNING: Youth research and try out their own ideas to see what works and doesn’t work. They lead their own learning, facilitated by the IMPACT team.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The projects can either be based at the school or youth service or it can be out in the community. We can assist youth to either bring in people from the community to support their project, or the project could engage the community by asking them to participate in the project, for example to take part in a beach clean-up. Community engagement could also take the form of newspaper or newsletter articles showcasing to the community the groups achievements and educating them about environmental issues.

INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM STRENGTHS: Facilitators support youth to focus on their individual and group strengths. We initiate discussions around what the youth enjoy, the importance of understanding your own strengths, and how everyone’s individual strengths make up a strong team.

TEAM BUILDING: Team activities are woven throughout the project and are a key part of bringing out individual strengths and creating an understanding of what leadership looks like. They help to demonstrate:

  • How the group can make positive decisions
  • The importance of listening to everyone’s ideas,
  • An understand of why goals and time management are important to a successful project
  • How to overcome frustration and challenges that the group may face.

Models of Learning

The IMPACT facilitators focus on the wellbeing model of PERMA - Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and purpose, and Achievement. Through this approach the facilitators seek to support positive emotions in the youth through constructive interactions with each other, the facilitators and those involved from the community:

  • Engagement is achieved by incorporating individual strengths in the projects and encouraging the youth to work from this strength-based approach. Facilitators seek to build relationships through the interaction youth have with each other in the team setting, as well as through opportunities to link these youth with key people in the community related to their project.
  • Meaning is achieved through the contribution the youth make to the community through the project, along with their unique contribution to the project within the team. Youth are encouraged to see the significance of their achievements and to learn how to build on these in the future. Facilitators endeavour to provide examples, bring in community role models and create experiences that illustrate to the youth the significance of their actions. In addition, their view is broadened to see how their actions can have wider implications for the community and even nation, however small they may sometimes seem.
  • Learning is experiential, inquiry-based and practical, enabling youth to learn skills that can be transferred into other areas of life, bridging the gap between their immediate world and the wider world of work and community.

Who runs IMPACT?

IMPACT is a program of the Sustainable Taranaki. The program facilitators have a broad range of skills in the fields of education, youth work and the environmental. Both facilitators

  • Policed checked through the Sustainable Taranaki
  • Have relevant Basic First Aid Certificates.

Who funds Impact?

IMPACT is funded by the Ministry of Youth Development. This means that there is NO cost to the school/youth service to be involved in the program. The funding provides:

  • Two Facilitators
  • Small start-up funds to cover groups resources for their project.

Health and Safety

IMPACT facilitators will provide to the school/youth service management team:

  • A Risk Analysis Management (RAMS) form before starting the project that the youth have decided on.
  • A First Aid Kit and safety equipment, when required
  • They will also ensure they read and understand the evacuation and emergency procedures within the youth service. The school/youth service will provide:
  • Safe working conditions (code compliant buildings)
  • The IMPACT facilitators with emergency/evacuation information and procedures
  • Transport, if required for the project. Impact facilitators are not able to transport youth in their vehicles. Any transport requirements will be planned with and approved by the school/youth service.
  • Further staff as supervisors, if required for correct ratio numbers on project outings e.g. for a beach clean-up.

Time and Group Sizes

IMPACT is a program that, due to funding requirements, is not able to be run in normal class times. We can facilitate the program during morning tea, lunch or after school time. Groups ideally contain 8-12 youth, however we have some flexibility to meet your needs.