“My uncle might play a game of pool with me sometimes and he is the one to show me how to resolve problems and (the auntie and uncle) have really helped me a lot and I’m glad I’ve gone through the aunties and uncles program.”
Nicholas, 12 years
“I love my Aunty so much because of all fun things I’ve done with her…..She is the kindest, nicest, most generous person I know and I know a lot of people like her…..She is the best person ever!!!!… I only see her once a month and when I do we always do something fun….She came and watched the musical I was in. I really liked performing when she watched. I felt really special.”
Rosemary, 11 years
“Our family has been involved with Aunties and Uncles since about 2001 and have had two nephews. They have come from two totally different backgrounds — one was an only child and the other is the third of five children. What we have found with both though is that they came to us as young boys without much self esteem and we have watched them blossom.
Our first nephew came to us when he was 9 and he had not had a night away from his mum until coming to us, and this was very hard for both of them! But as time went by, he could spend a week over the holidays. Being six years older than our son, he looked up to his big cousin and it gave him a sense of family.
Our second nephew also joined us at age nine, the same age as our son. He was extremely quiet and prone to mood swings but now it is wonderful to see the two boys killing themselves with laughter as they wrestle on the front lawn. We have loved teaching him so many things about life, the universe and everything!”
“I have been involved with Aunties and Uncles for just over two years and honestly, it has been the best decision I have ever made. It has changed my life. I was the typical retired male enjoying my new found freedom after operating my own business for many years. All of a sudden along came Aunties and Uncles and I haven’t looked back – this is what my life needed – to put my time and efforts into helping others, in my case boys in need. I currently have two boys I look after on weekends and I love it. The proof of my success is that when they stay over I always get a kiss and a hug goodnight and that means so much. The ages of 6/13 is the time when dads are needed and count most, and in my case a male role model for them to help with their development and to be good communicators. Sometimes it is hard to get it right, but it is worth every second you put into it. Proactive is a word that comes to mind and of course you have to retain your sense of humour.”
“We first met our Auntie in August 2009 and from the very start the link has been welcomed by all involved. After an initial morning tea and afternoon stay with the Auntie, my daughter has spent one weekend a month with her. She lives near the beach which is a bonus so plenty of bike riding, beach soccer and a swim. Being a single mum with no family around for support, the program has given me breathing space to have time to relax. My daughter has also benefited a lot from having a surrogate Auntie and extended friends and family. Every visit is fun packed as my daughter tells me and she has experienced new things. Her Auntie has also helped with school studies which has also been great. It is a wonderful relationship that I hope continues for a long time.”
Maree, mother of one child
“The Aunties and Uncles Program has been a really positive experience for my son and our family. It has helped his self-confidence and helped his interaction with males and has given him a positive male experience in his life. I have a good relationship with my son’s Uncle. He has helped by talking about my son to me and I can speak to him about any issues I may have with my son. The Program has made a difference to our family life. I can spend one-on-one time with my daughter which has really helped. And my son has made a lovely friendship with his Uncle’s daughter.”
Catherine, mother of two children