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Local News 15 Feb, 2021 Follow News

Angela Martins, Deputy Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters Cayman Islands, at The Big Breakfast event

Local mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, has launched ‘Think BIG’; a campaign aiming to make a big impact on the Cayman community, and to help recruit and match 100 mentors (Bigs) and mentees (Littles).

‘Think BIG’ launched on Saturday 16 January with a ‘Big Breakfast’; an event celebrating the work of Bigs. The event, which took place at George Town Yacht Club, began with professional development featuring Shannon Seymour, Director of the Wellness Centre, who made an impactful presentation on Understanding Adversity and Building Resilience, with a particular focus on the effect of COVID-19 on the children and adolescents in the Cayman Islands.

Big Brothers Big Sisters also made some big announcements about the future of the charity, revealing they have appointed three new roles to better support the needs of the Littles and their families in the future. The new appointments are Greg Smith as Executive Director, Erin Kaufman as Programme Manager and Angela Sealy, as Case Manager and Family Support Specialist.

Pilar Bush, Chairperson of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands, said “January was National Mentoring Month in the USA and this focused attention on the need for mentors. Mentors can truly change the lives of their mentees forever. Many of the issues faced by our community’s young people were heightened in 2020 due to COVID. The work of our mentors has never been more important and we knew it was time to make big changes to Big Brothers Big Sisters allowing us to do even more going forward.

“One major focus is for us to grow our mentoring programme to reach 100 matches of Bigs and Littles while providing additional support to the families that need it. We hope that our Think BIG campaign will help us to reach these important milestones.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands offers a wide range of mentoring opportunities to meet the varied needs of volunteers, children & Littles and their families. Serving as role models, its mentors (Bigs) teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and of the importance for having respect for family, peers and the community.

Think BIG is a campaign based around ‘Big’ events, ‘Big’ messages and ‘Big’ impacts. The aim is to raise awareness of the important work that the charity does within the Cayman Islands, raise important funds, and to recognise its stakeholders, volunteers and supporters.

Think BIG events will continue throughout February. These include ‘A Big Time’ event for Bigs and Littles on 17 February, a community Dress Down Day on 26 February aimed at raising awareness and funds, and a Youth Mentoring Forum sponsored by R3 on 27 February.

Pilar Bush, continued, “The Big Breakfast recognised the amazing work that our Bigs and volunteers do every day and the massive impact that they have on the lives of the Littles. We wanted to give special recognition to four Bigs that are hard-working, passionate, and dedicated. They are cheerleaders and best friends. They are mentors and supporters. They encompass everything that makes a wonderful Big. They are Nick Brierly, Kim Sheehan, Robert Thomas and Mahreen Nabi. We also wanted to recognise three incredible volunteers who have made an exceptional contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are Heidi Adair, Shona Dors and once again, Nick Brierly. A huge thank you to all of these amazing people, and all of the other remarkable volunteers that made Big Brothers Big Sisters what it is today. We look forward to making our 100 matches soon and creating a ‘Big’ impact on the Cayman Islands.”

To find out more about volunteering, becoming a mentor or donating to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands, visit bbbs.ky or call us on +345 326 0610.

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