Flying Start winners

Please note: our Flying Start grant program is currently suspended.

Grant #24 - Connect the Dots

Connect the Dots Charitable Trust engages and empowers older people and people living with dementia through the creative arts. As part of the organisation’s Make Moments programme, trained and passionate arts educators deliver art tours and art-making workshops at local arts venues. It’s been Connect The Dots’ vision to expand this Auckland-only offering nationwide, and with the help of the Flying Start grant their dream has become a reality.

The grant will enable Connect The Dots to hire more professional artists to mentor participants from around the country and host an exhibition to showcase their work later this year, with both outcomes aiding in the Trust’s mission to reduce stigma and social isolation and show what people living with dementia have to offer.

Grant #23 - GirlBoss

GirlBoss New Zealand is focused on improving the economic, social and emotional progress of young women in New Zealand by encouraging them into future-focused fields and equipping them with future-ready skills. As a 2018 winner, Jetstar’s Flying Start grant enabled teen founder Alexia Hilbertidou to travel and host her transformational workshops in schools around New Zealand and Rarotonga.

Grant #22 - Christchurch School Of Music

Christchurch School of Music is a not-for-profit organisation with a strong focus on the community, providing opportunities for study, practice and performance of a wide range of music. Jetstar’s Flying Start grant has enabled a group of over 60 young musicians to perform in two competitions in Wellington – the Wellington Band and Orchestra Festival and the NZ Concert Bands Association Festival.

Grant #21 - Voices Of Hope

Voices of Hope aims to normalise discussion around suicide to New Zealand youth and encourage people that there is hope. This grant was used for a two-week school’s tour to bring Voices of Hope to students around New Zealand and Australia.

Grant #20 - The Neonatal Trust NZ

Each year approximately 5,000 premature and sick babies are born in New Zealand. The cash component helped coordinate and support families of neonatal (premature or sick full-term) babies as they make their journey through neonatal intensive care, the transition home, and onwards.

Grant #19 - Whole Lotta Life

Nelson-based Whole Lotta Life Foundation, which supports young adults fighting cancer, is the 19th recipient of a Jetstar $30,000 Flying Start grant.

The foundation was launched by Kristin Paterson following her experience of being diagnosed with cancer as a 26-year-old new mother.

The $15,000 cash component of the grant will be used to help fund two retreats to bring members of the Whole Lotta Life Foundation community together for a five day support program including relaxation yoga sessions, art therapy and equine therapy.

The $15,000 of Jetstar flights will enable young adult cancer sufferers to attend the retreats which will be held in Kumeu in April 2017 and Martinborough in September 2017.

Grant #18 - The Nelson ARK

South Island based charitable trust, Nelson ARK, is the latest recipient of the Jetstar Flying Start grant. The Nelson ARK was founded in 2002 with the purpose of helping troubled youth in their community through their A-PART Programme (Animals, People and Rehabilitative Training) and Healing Species services.

The charitable trust will use the $15,000 cash component of the grant to help fund youth and their families through their rehabilitative programmes. The nature of The Nelson ARK’s programmes means that all students are monitored for a full year and remain highly involved with the charity through the likes of follow-on courses, fundraising and youth advisory groups.

The $15,000 worth of Jetstar flights will enable The Nelson ARK to expand and host programmes in new sites across New Zealand.

Grant #17 - Rezpect Dance Academy

Hastings based Rezpect Dance Academy has been announced as the 17th recipient of our $30,000 Jetstar Flying Start grant. The hip-hop dance academy, founded in 2010, is the first of its kind in the region.

The $15,000 cash component of the grant will be used to start a scholarship programme, funding 16 dancers a year who would otherwise not be able to afford the classes. The cash will also facilitate four community dance classes a week in Flaxmere, Camberley and Maraenui.

The $15,000 of flights will help four tutors learn from the best in Singapore and also fly Rezpect dance teams to compete at events in Brisbane and Sydney.

Grant #16 - Avonside Dragon Boating Team

Avonside Girls’ High School Dragon Boating Team has been announced as the 16th recipient of Jetstar’s Flying Start grant.

The high school team is based in the eastern Christchurch suburb of Avonside which was badly affected by the earthquakes in 2011. Many of the team members were displaced and living in temporary accommodation, and due to severe damage at the school, students were moved to site share with another until recently.

Current national champions for the past two years, Jetstar’s grant will be used to help fly the 26 girl strong team to Adelaide, where they will represent New Zealand on a world stage at the 2016 Club Crew World Dragon Boating Championships.

Grant #15 - Sticks N' Stones

Otago based Sticks ‘n’ Stones is the 15th recipient of Jetstar’s latest Flying Start grant.

The anti-bulling organisation was founded in 2013 through the Central Otago Rural Education Activities programme and has since grown from a group of 25 young people to now have over 50 teens on board. The group has contributed hundreds of volunteer hours each year to help change the acceptance of bullying and make a difference in other students’ lives.

Jetstar will help fly the students to Melbourne where they’ll attend the National Centre Against Bullying Conference. They’ll also fly students from across New Zealand to Otago to take part in programme immersion and mentoring schemes, helping them to roll out the Sticks ‘n’ Stones programme at schools across the country.

The grant will go towards supporting Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ interactive board game that promotes face-to-face discussion around bullying and facilities learning about problem solving and life skills. The organisation hopes to develop the game into an online app which can be implemented in schools nationwide.

Grant #14 - Hearing Dogs New Zealand

Hearing Dogs New Zealand is the 14th recipient of our Jetstar Flying Start Grant receiving $15,000 worth of Jetstar flights and $15,000 cash to be used to support the charity’s ’Companion Dogs for Children’ pilot programme.

One in ten people in New Zealand are deaf or hearing-impaired and Hearing Dogs New Zealand delivers the important service of training assistance dogs to aid and guide them.

The safety of a child is paramount and given that hearing impairment isolates recipients, the gift of a hearing dog gives independence, confidence and companionship thereby improving future relationships for them.

The ultimate goal for rolling out the Companion Dogs for Children pilot programme is to break down the barriers of social isolation. Hearing Dogs New Zealand is aiming to create communities that are vibrant and inclusive by giving others a chance to see how a child who is deaf or hearing impaired can benefit from the support and help.

For further information on Hearing Dogs New Zealand, visit

Grant #13 - Peggy Purl In Your Community

Community knitting group Peggy Purl in Your Community is the 13th recipient of our Jetstar Flying Start grant, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel to help it continue its work in keeping young children warm throughout New Zealand.

Harking back to the much loved craft of knitting, Peggy Purl in Your Community organises volunteers to knit thousands of peggy squares each year, which are sewn together to produce wool blankets for vulnerable children.

To date, the charity has focused on Auckland, but the grant will enable it to establish community knitting groups throughout the country, potentially benefiting thousands of other vulnerable children.

The organisation also plays an important community role by offering companionship and fellowship for those who gather to knit. This includes the elderly, new immigrant groups and many others who are keen to be involved in a community project that supports its own.

Grant #12 - Discovery Foundation

The Discovery Foundation is our 12th recipient of the Jetstar Flying Start grant, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel to expand into Christchurch and deliver programmes that will help the youth of Canterbury and the South Island.

The Discovery Foundation was established by New Zealand parents in Auckland in 1991 to give young people skills and strategies to enable them to deal with challenges and get the best out of life.

The Flying Start grant will fund a seven-day teen residential camp (ages 14-18) and a children’s non-residential weekend programme (ages 8-12), designed to promote self-esteem and encourage young people to reach their potential.

To connect with Discovery Foundation click here.

Grant #11 - Crohn’s & Colitis New Zealand

The Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust (CCNZ) is our 11th recipient of the Jetstar Flying Start grant, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel to host the first NZ-based camp for children and teenagers living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The one-week summer CCNZ Children and Teen's camp will be held in late January 2015 at Auckland’s YMCA Camp Adair, attended by 48 young people aged 10-19 from all over New Zealand who live with IBD.

New Zealand has the world’s highest incidence rate of IBD with an estimated 20,000 people living with the disease.

CCNZ was established in early 2010 to respond to the needs of patients across New Zealand by funding research to find better therapies and work towards an eventual cure.

To connect with CCNZ click here.

Grant #10 - Hand In Hand

Hand in Hand is the 10th Flying Start Programme recipient, receiving $15,000 in cash and $15,000 in travel to extend its operations to potentially hundreds more Kiwi women.

Hand in Hand is an Auckland-based women’s health charity providing women living with cancer a safe and private environment to enjoy a manicure and pedicure using organic products.

The Jetstar Flying Start Grant is assisting with the revamp of the Hand in Hand studio. The grant will also fund the travel of women living with cancer outside of Auckland to visit Hand in Hand for a day of treatment and pampering.

Grant #9 - Dunstanza

Dunstan High School’s ‘Dunstanza’ choir is the ninth Flying Start Programme grant recipient, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel, enabling the 52-strong Otago performance troupe to travel to the Melbourne International Singers Festival in June.

The Dunstanza choir will have their talents on show at two concerts while attending the Festival as well as participating in contemporary and gospel music workshops with Choral Directors from America.

The Jetstar Flying Start grant helped supplement the fundraising carried out by the Alexandra community allowing the school group to make the trip memorable for all choir members and reducing the financial burden on families.

Grant #8 - MenzShed Of Kaiapoi

MenzShed is the eighth Flying Start Programme grant recipient, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel, to help build a much-needed metal working shed to support the people of Kaiapoi in Canterbury.

MenzShed brings men together in a community space to share their skills, have a laugh, and work on practical tasks individually (personal projects) or as a group (for the Shed or community). Over 50 Sheds exist around New Zealand with the aim of nurturing the mental health and wellbeing of all the members of the group, within a friendly environment.

Projects already undertaken out of the Kaiapoi MenzShed include constructing and installing planter boxes in Kaiapoi’s main street, fixing fences for the elderly, installing raised gardens, and building public benches and bird houses.

Grant #7 - The New Zealand Festival

The New Zealand Festival is the seventh Flying Start Programme grant recipient, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel, to be used for a ground-breaking performance by 500 Kiwis, titled 'The Big Bang'.

The grant will be used to help facilitate flights and ground costs for hundreds of young people from Christchurch and Auckland to Wellington where they will join a 500-strong group made-up of Strike Percussion, Kora, Wellington community choirs and the 200 young drummers who will perform a unique drumming and vocal performance to open the bi-annual three-week New Zealand Festival on Friday 21 February, 2014.

In preparation for this special event, 200 young people from Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland have been training with professional musicians from Strike Percussion, a ground-breaking programme for children which not only teaches valuable musical skills but also harnesses the transformative power of collaboration and working towards a common goal.

Grant #6 - Big Buddy

Big Buddy is our sixth Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant recipient, receiving $15,000 cash and $15,000 in travel.

With growing waiting lists for trusted male mentors for young boys in the Wellington region, the grant will be used to expand Big Buddy’s services in the Capital, boosting its infrastructure and recruiting much-needed Big Buddies.

Offering a free mentoring service run by dedicated professionals, nearly 500 Kiwi boys have been matched with hand-picked mentors since the service started in 1997.

Grant #5 - Safekids New Zealand

Safekids New Zealand, a service established to help reduce the high rates of preventable injury to children, is the latest recipient of a Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant.

The $30,000 grant - evenly split between flights and cash - will be used to raise awareness of scooter safety amongst Kiwi kids.

Grant #4 - Clown Doctors

It’s smiles all round as Clown Doctors New Zealand is announced as the fourth Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant recipient.

Over 50,000 hospital patients and family members have been entertained in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch hospitals since the Clown Doctors organisation started in New Zealand in 2009. Using laughter as an aid to encourage and motivate, the 24 Clown Doctors give psychological support and complement the therapy of the sick or suffering in hospitals and relief centers. The funny chaos created by Clown Doctors brings smiles not only to the faces of the patients and their family members, but also to hospital staff and visitors.

The $15,000 cash and $15,000 travel grant will enable the Clown Doctors to run a specialist ‘Medical Clowning’ training course and expand their work nationwide during the annual Smile Days campaign in late May.

Grant #3 - Deaf Aotearoa

Deaf Aotearoa is the latest recipient of a Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant. Kiwi families with deaf or hearing impaired parents will be able to participate in a special conference in Christchurch next year, made possible by the $30,000 grant.

The second annual NZ Deaf and Hearing Impaired Parents Conference and Children’s Camp in January 2013 will give families the chance to learn how to tackle their unique challenges, hear from expert speakers, share their experiences and make new friends.

Grant #2 - Arthritis New Zealand

Kiwi kids suffering from arthritis will have the chance to attend a unique camp after Arthritis NZ received a $30,000 grant through the Jetstar Flying Start Programme.

More than 1,000 New Zealand children, from toddlers to teenagers, suffer from arthritis. The annual camp run by Arthritis New Zealand for the past two years offers young sufferers a chance to meet, to learn new skills and to build their confidence.

The Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant of $15,000 in flights and $15,000 in cash means 50 children from around the country will be able to attend the camp in 2013 - 25% more than ever before.

Grant #1 - Bellyful

Bellyful is the first New Zealand group to receive a $30,000 grant through the Jetstar Flying Start Programme and will use these funds to help enrich the lives of New Zealanders.

Bellyful is a New Zealand-based charity organisation which provides free, home-cooked meals to families who have newborns, are struggling with the illness of a parent or child, or are new to a community.

Bellyful launched in May 2009 with the first branch in Pukekohe, New Zealand. In April 2012, Bellyful had 12 branches throughout the North and South Island of New Zealand.

The organisation is run by a network of more than 300 volunteers who cook and deliver frozen, precooked meals to families who are short of a support network close-by.

People in towns all over New Zealand have been contacting Bellyful with interest to start Bellyful branches in their local towns. The demand for Bellyful services is rapidly growing so the Jetstar Flying Start grant (made up of $15,000 cash and $15,000 worth of flights) will enable Bellyful to expand and start up additional branches to help more families.

Funds raised by the volunteers and public donations cover the costs of running the Bellyful branches. Expenses include food, containers and communication material. There are currently no paid positions in Bellyful, even in Head Office.

Bellyful is aiming to use the Jetstar grant to double its size with another 12 branches to open within 12 months; taking the total to 24 Bellyful branches across New Zealand. The first of the new branches launched in Christchurch in August 2012, with a ’cook off’ event. Over 80 meals including macaroni cheese were cooked and packaged, ready to be delivered to new mums in Christchurch.