(Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit & Support)
CACTUS was initially established in 1998 as the vision of Hokitika Police Community Constable, Rob Fox, for a community-based programme that could assist local youth in their personal development. It has now developed into a highly successful programme around both Aotearoa and Australia. CACTUS started up again in Hokitika at Westland High School in 2018 after a gap of many years.
In 2017, Westland District Council was one of 15 Councils nationwide to receive funding from the Local Government Youth Partnership Fund, through the Ministry of Youth Development. The grant enabled WestREAP to deliver a programme to Westland High School students to encourage and support them to build their capability and resilience through leadership, volunteering and mentoring.
The programme’s objectives are to grow self-discipline and strength of character, encourage physical and mental development and wellbeing, reinforce positive social skills and attitudes, and develop an ability to break through personal limitations and achieve goals.
Participants go through an intensive fitness and skills programme, benefiting and utilising the great outdoors their local environment has to offer. This extends teenager's physical, social and character development through physical activity and team building.
Each CACTUS course concludes with a "Longest Day" challenge to test participants’ progress and their ability to work as a team. For their successful participation students gain a CACTUS t-shirt and an evaluation from Facilitator Pita McDonald and Co-Facilitator Pascale Geoffrion.
CACTUS is currently running at Westland High, South Westland Area School, Ross plus all Primary Schools in Hokitika (Kaniere, Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi, Hokitika and St. Marys).
XPoly SWAS 2020