Meet the support team

Our team is small, but we pack a lot of punch! Together, we deliver social work support and youth development programmes to achieve holistic wellbeing. Each individual is qualified and experienced, and all with a particular niche. Together, we create a team that is able to provide a range of social support services to Hutt Valley youth.


Lou Ruka

Community Health Worker

I have been working at VIBE since November 2014. I work in the Social Support Team as a Community Health Worker which is an awesome role that I love. I get to work with 10-24 year olds in a role that is varied and inspiring. I hold a Bachelor of Counselling and feel very privileged to work with people from our community to help promote positive change and see them thriving and growing-I love that I can be a part of that Journey.

    Samara Heffernan

    Youth Development Worker

    I am the newest addition to the Youth Development Team at Vibe, I started in May 2017 and my role involves one-on-one support, health promotion and programme facilitation. I am a qualified social worker with experience in mental health and addictions – working as a drug and alcohol counsellor before shifting over to my role at Vibe. I enjoy working with young people, supporting them to make informed decisions, achieve life goals and flourish in their communities.

      Sahra Birtwistle

      Programme Development Coordinator

      I joined the Vibe Support Team in February of 2016 as one of the Programme Development Coordinators. I’m responsible for creating, developing and delivering workshops and programmes aimed at supporting, educating, and empowering the young people of the Hutt Valley region. I’m also currently studying a degree in Social Work part time. My previous work experience has included youth phone counselling and group supervision, workshop facilitation, and family accommodation coordination. My passion in life is to empower and create supportive communities for our young people, where they feel valued, cared for and have the resources to pursue their dreams. I feel incredibly privileged to be part of an organisation where I can directly support the young people of the community and work with some amazing and passionate youth work professionals

        Free confidential health & support services for people 10 to 24

        Lower Hutt: 04 566 0525

        4 Daly Street Lower Hutt

        Upper Hutt: 04 528 6261

        Unit 7, Building 10, 68-70 Ward Street Upper Hutt

        © Vibe | Privacy policy

        Thanks to our supporters: