About iNSPiRE - Youth Empowerment Programmes
"EMPOWERiNG YOUNG PEOPLE TO SHiNE WiTH THEiR BRiGHTEST LiGHT!"
iNSPiRE is an organisation that delivers engaging and interactive school holiday programmes, after school sessions & stand-alone workshops to young people aged 6-14 years old. An alternative form of childcare, iNSPiRE aims to promote and develop personal skills and positive well-being in small groups through a holistic style of teaching.
The combination of her experiences has helped Kirsty align her vision for what she has ignited with iNSPiRE; being passionate about empowering young people in Queenstown Lakes to grow, shine and develop into confident, well-rounded individuals and give them the tools to promote calm in today's busy world and navigate society as they grow up.
The open-minded sessions smash stigmas and encourage mindfulness, cultivate creativity, and compassion for themselves and others. Our aim is to nurture the emotional intelligence skills needed to empower young people to thrive in today’s world through gratitude and reflection journaling, mindfulness and meditation exercises and learning through games.
Kirsty is passionate about creating a space that is intimate and welcoming where young people will feel at home and be open to their personal development. Kirsty is keen to make iNSPiRE accessible to all so will endeavour to offer extended hours to all the programmes and pick ups where she can!
Where it began...
iNSPiRE kicked off in January 2019 when Kirsty led 4 weeks of school holiday programmes to both age groups of young people (aged 6-10 and 10-14); every week was a great success and the kids loved the alternative and holistic style of learning. Each session was engaging, challenging and left time for reflection. Kirsty is very creative and loves young people to learn through games, words of affirmations/mantras, interactions with others and is keen to develop their awareness of ‘the bigger picture’.
Since then Kirsty has been running weekly after school sessions for at least 2 hours on multiple days a week each term and week-long programmes during every school holiday plus a series of one-off days on teacher only days and sporadic Saturday mornings.
What do the sessions involve?
Most of the sessions are structured similarly starting each programme/term session with icebreakers and getting to know the members and different group dynamic. The young people are introduced to meditation/finding calm and peace in their everyday lives and ‘3 things I’m grateful for’ then activities/games based on a particular theme e.g. compassion, resilience, being mindful, how to develop their creativity/imagination. For longer sessions in the school holiday we break up the sessions with a walk or a physical activity or game before we do another more learning-based activity. The young people are all given journals so they finish each session with a reflection of their day- they usually have three sentences to complete in words or pictures eg "something I’m proud of… a positive thing I saw today was...".
After each session Kirsty sends the parents/guardians a summary email so they can see what we have talked about and learned so it can be followed up at home, if wanted.
Kirsty feels there is great value in encouraging young people to feel empowered in who they are nowadays and fostering their skills and talents so they feel good about themselves! In this field of work she doesn’t believe there can be a specific or structured outcome eg. A drama workshop produces a play – rather she sees this as more of a personal ongoing experience, similarly for all of us in life as we develop skills, tools and strategies to deal with things as they come along, but she really hopes that the young people involved in these programmes will feel a lot more empowered, aware of themselves and confident by the end of the week/term.
Kirsty is really passionate about creating a space that is intimate and welcoming where young people will feel at home and be open to their personal development. She is also keen for iNSPiRE to be accessible to all which is why, where possible, she will offer extended hours of childcare and pick ups.
Kirsty says: "Essentially, I am open, honest and a pretty balanced person who has a zest for life that I hope is infectious in my programmes and to those around me!"
Each session/programme focuses on a different theme that young people are inspired to develop including: