RHYS SMITH | Manager & lead Youth Worker

Crossing the Tasman from his hometown of Sydney, Australia; Rhys has returned to New Zealand after previously residing and working in Queenstown as a youth worker from 2013-15. Rhys took on the Manager & Lead Youth Worker role in April 2019 with Cromwell Youth Trust.

Rhys' experience is a result of travelling and working worldwide (including Australia, New Zealand, Canada & the USA) as a youth worker since 2012. Rhys has had the privilege of working in various roles within youth work including as an Out of Home Care Residential Worker for foster youth. Rhys has also worked at a high adventure Summer Camp in the USA as a Head Counsellor for a number of summers. Additionally, he has volunteered his time for many non-profit youth services mentoring and supporting youth.

Throughout Rhys' time exploring the world he has had the opportunity to experience some incredible adventures, including, solo skydiving, scuba diving, trekking through the Canadian wilderness backcountry, mingling with the likes of Tony Hawk and Johnny Knoxville in Los Angeles, and eating fried crickets in Mexico!

Rhys has come to Cromwell with a mission; and that is to reinvigorate the community to be a part of an amazing youth service that Rhys aims on becoming the centrepiece and inspiration for other youth services in New Zealand. If you see Rhys around please say Kia Ora - except if the All Blacks beat the Wallabies (which is in the higher percentage range of happening)

EDEN WILSON | Youth Worker

Born and raised just down the road in Lawrence, Eden grew up in a small rural town where she learnt what it meant to be a part of a community; working together, supporting and looking out for one another.

Throughout the years she was very involved within the community with things such as Clutha District Youth Council, helping at local events and Receiving the Trust Power Community youth spirit award 2016.

Once finishing school Eden spent two and a half years abroad where she lived in the Falkland Islands, Wales and England. She spent her time working in schools, traveling Europe gaining personal life skills as well as experiences around working with children from all backgrounds and situations. While traveling some of her most treasured experiences were attending ANZAC day in Gallipoli, going up in a hot air balloon and exploring Iceland.

She hopes to use her passion for helping others to support the youth of the Cromwell district make the most of every opportunity available, ensuring that everyone enjoys growing up in this amazing place we get to call home.

FRAN DUSTIN | Youth Worker & Adventure Coach

Fran was born in the Bay of Plenty but spent her youth living in various parts of the country, including Cromwell. She attended Cromwell Primary and Cromwell College. After leaving school, Fran moved to London for 2 years, where she travelled and found a passion for working with children. When she returned home, she attended Dunedin College of Education and became a primary school teacher. Over the years she has worked in various teaching positions here in New Zealand but also in Tripoli, Libya and Government schools in Abu Dhabi.

During this time, she has traveled to over 50 countries and some highlights during those travels are; trekking with gorillas in Uganda, walking with lions in Zimbabwe, Muay Thai training camps in Thailand, 3 week yoga/ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka and meeting people from all over the world.

Over the years Fran has studied various modalities to help not only her own personal journey, but also to help others with theirs. Fran is a personal trainer, yoga therapist and mindfulness teacher as well as a reiki practitioner. She has used these skills to develop a wellness programme that has helped people take control of their mental, emotional and physical well-being and hopes to be able to share these skills with the youth of Cromwell.

After living overseas for 15 years she is excited to once again call Cromwell home and to be involved with the community. It is a very special place to grow up and she hopes to be a part of that experience for the youth of Cromwell.

ALLIE | YOUTH 'DOG' WORKER

Hi, my name is Allie and I am the one really in charge here at Cromwell Youth Trust. My dad, Rhys, thinks he is the boss but I am the one who knows everything about how to get the best from young people and adults as well. You will always find me at The Hangout everyday where I give the best cuddles and where I like to play games with all my cool friends who come by!

I love meeting new people and am really kind and gentle - so if you come by please come and say hello and give me a pat. Otherwise you will sometimes see me hanging outside enjoying the sun.

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