Meet the Youth Engagement Team

Youth Engagement Team- here to support young people in connecting into education and employment

Ben Eastwood

Upper Hutt Youth Engagement Team Leader

My name is Ben Eastwood, I am a registered Social Worker. At Vibe I am a Team Leader in the Youth Engagement Service. I started working at Vibe in 2013 and continue to enjoy working here. I am lucky enough to work alongside my team to support young people to overcome barriers which prevent them from becoming thriving young adults and contributing members of society. The regular and really positive outcomes for young adults is what keeps me motivated and enjoying my job.

    Penoa Tuigamala

    Lower Hutt Youth Engagement Team Leader

    Talofa Lava….

    I joined VIBE early October 2016, having worked in the Government Sector for a number of years holding various leadership roles. I work on the premise that I will not ask the team to do things, that I will not do myself. I foster this by being in the field as much as possible, giving me a better insight to the needs of our Rangatahi, VIBEs business needs, not to mention a great way to build team relationships. I am very fortunate to be leading a group of Youth Coaches who are dedicated in their Mahi, forging key relationships with our young people with the view to empower them to make more informed decisions about their future and equip them with skills for their ‘lumana’i’ future!

    I am looking forward to VIBEs future journey with the Youth of the Hutt Valley!


      Melanie Andrews

      Youth Engagement Team Leader

      Kia ora. My name is Mel. I joined the VIBE team in early July 2017, as Team Leader for the Youth Engagement Service in Lower Hutt. I have worked in a number of roles previously, supporting tamariki and rangatahi. I am a qualified Lawyer. I have held a number of roles within the private sector and I have also worked privately as a Trainer and Consultant. I have worked for the past 7 years within the NGO sector in various roles, including the role of Family Violence Programme Co-ordinator in the Porirua/Kapiti region for children and young people who had experienced violence within their families. For past last 3 years, I held the role of Child Advocate within the Lower Hutt Police Family Safety Team, working with young people and their families in serious family harm situations. I have a broad range of experience liaising with Government Departments, Community Agencies and NGOs in the Hutt Valley and Wellington regions. I am passionate about advocating for youth rights and ensuring that young people have a voice. It is wonderful to see young people growing in their mana and sense of purpose and as they gain new life-skills and work towards achieving their personal and academic goals. I am excited to be leading the NEET Youth Coaches in their work as they mentor and build relationships with young people. I value the opportunity to be a part of the wider VIBE team, who work within the vibrant community of young people in the Hutt Valley.
      Nga mihi nui

        Anita Oliver

        Youth Engagement Coach

        Kia ora koutou, ko Anita Oliver taku ingoa! I have been working alongside young people for the past 2 years and am a Youth Coach here at Vibe. I am based mainly in Heretaunga College, but also do some mahi out and about in the wider Hutt Valley community. I am a registered social worker by trade, and love working with young people at Vibe because of the positive and supportive culture we have here!

          Antonia Ridley

          Youth Engagement Social Worker

          I have worked at Vibe since August 2012. I grew up in the Hutt Valley and love working back in this area with Young People.
          I am a qualified social worker and work alongside youth on the Young Parent Payment and Youth Payment.

            Elodie Dol

            Youth Engagement Coach

            Hi my name is Elodie and I am a Youth coach based in Vibe Upper Hutt. I am a qualified counsellor and I have 6 years of experience working with young people. I work mostly with young people in Upper Hutt College and Lower Hutt Capital Training. In my work with young people what I really enjoy is journeying with individuals as they discover their potential. What I like about working for Vibe is that we work to empower young people! We help them gain the skills and confidence they need to reach for what they want in life, and to become independent and powerful young members of society.

              Georgia Coburn

              Youth Engagement Coach

              I'm Georgia; a Youth Coach supporting the awesome young people at Naenae College and Wainuiomata High School. I have recently just graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work and have been at Vibe since December 2015 and have loved seeing the young people work towards reaching their full potential!

                Holly Mulligan

                Youth Engagement Coach

                Kia Ora, my name is Holly and I am a youth coach at Vibe. I work alongside young people at Taita College, supporting them to achieve their goals and unfold their potential. I am a qualified social worker and love working with young people, watching them work towards their dreams. I am inspired by the young people I work with and feel very privileged to be in this role. Go Taita!!

                  Jodi Breukers

                  Youth Engagement Coach

                  My name is Jodi and I have been working with vibe since 2013 as a Youth Coach. I am a qualified, registered Social Worker and started working with young people in 2008. I am really passionate about the work that I do - I love being able to walk alongside so many awesome, resilient young people and believe that each and every one of them is capable of achieving greatness!

                    Lance Fa’afoi

                    Youth Engagement Coach

                    Hi my name is Lance and I am a NEET Youth Coach in the Youth Services Team at Vibe. I have been with Vibe since March 2015. I really do enjoy working alongside young people helping them to make the most of their education, to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams.

                      Letitia Keepa

                      Youth Engagement Social Worker

                      Kia ora Koutou

                      Ko Letitia Keepa Toku Ingoa

                      I have been at Vibe in the Youth engagement team for a year now.  I am a social worker/youth coach and work with Youth receiving the Youth Payment and Young parent payment, based at the Upper Hutt site.

                      I completed my social work degree at Whitireia and am currently studying Te Putaketanga te reo maori at Te wananga O Aoteoroa.

                      I have worked as a social worker for about 5 years.  I have spent about 4 years working with families, but it was a passion of mine to work with youth, so here I am at Vibe.

                        Neill Ballantyne

                        Youth Engagement Coach

                        I have been working for Vibe since January 2016 and LOVE IT! I have previous worked for World Vision as the 40 Hour Famine dude and have worked at the University of Otago supporting LGBT students. I love getting out into nature on adventures but also like chilling at home catching up on Netflicks! I believe that everyone has huge potential which is just waiting to be unleashed on the world.

                          Summer Pere

                          Youth Engagement Administrator

                          Kia ora koutou, my name is Summer Pere and I am a Youth Worker/Admin at Vibe.
                          I started my role at Vibe in November 2016.I really love my job, working alongside young people and helping them access the YP/YPP to support them on their journeys.
                          I was a young Mum myself, and I have always wanted to have a role where I can work to help other young Mums in any way that I can.
                          I love getting to know the young people and sharing in their journey, enthusiasm, and their energy.
                          In my spare time I love spending time with my family, singing and having fun with friends

                            Sara Hewson

                            Youth Engagement Coach

                            Hi my name is Sara and I have been working at Vibe since September 2013, first as a YP/YPP Social Worker and more recently as the Support Services Team Leader. I have a BSW and am fully registered with the SWRB. Working for Vibe has been a dream job for me as I love young people and get so much out of their enthusiasm, creativity, humour and energy. In my spare time I am a proud nerd and I love reading, movies and music.



                              Sinead Ward

                              Programme Development Coordinator

                              Hi, my name is Sinead Ward. I have worked at Vibe since January 2014. I am a Programme Development Coordinator and sit on the Youth Engagement Service Leadership Team here at Vibe. I love my current role and feel privileged to work with amazing young people and staff.

                              Through my studies and work experience I have a lot of experience both here and abroad of working with young people and their families. I believe every young person has unique qualities and attributes and if given the opportunity can contribute to making the world a better place for themselves and others. Working alongside young people and the Vibe team, designing programmes, workshops, activities and resources for both individual and group work which enable young people to reach their full potential is my passion.

                                Sue Murray

                                Youth Engagement Administrator

                                I have been working at Vibe since October 2014. My core role at Vibe is coordinating all incoming Youth Payment / Young Parent Payment applications within Wellington and Hutt Valley, and supporting young people in all aspects of this process.

                                  Rebecca Cottis

                                  Youth Coach

                                  Hello- I’m Rebecca and I am a Youth Coach here at Vibe. I started in June 2016. I really enjoy my job and working with young people is great fun! With my role I support young people with whatever is going on for them. Whether it’s talking about what’s going on for them in their life, help with school stuff, looking at study or work options and careers paths and what may be the best option for them. You name it and I can probably support and help you through it. If not I can point us in the right direction!
                                  I am a registered Counsellor as before I started working at Vibe I was studying at WelTec. I love walking alongside and supporting people and know how nice it can be to have someone there in your life to be supportive and accepting of you.
                                  In my spare time I enjoy relaxing and watching a good movie or TV series or getting in to a book, sitting in the sun, cooking & baking yummy things, going to markets and I love going to comedy shows when they are around and having a good laugh!

                                    Free confidential health & support services for people 10 to 24

                                    Lower Hutt: 04 566 0525

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                                    Upper Hutt: 04 528 6261

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