CHILDREN 1st Charitable Trust

Our Focus


To build a resilient community where everyone is treasured.


To support the development of social, emotional and life skills of young people and their families.


Our four core values are:
Justice , Integrity, Respect and Courage… Read More

CHILDREN 1st Charitable Trust fulfils the intent of The Treaty of Waitangi by valuing and reflecting New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage.

Registered Trust CHILDREN 1st Charitable Trust is a non profit organisation registered with the Charities Commission.
Trust Registration Number: CC49467
Incorporated and registered in May 2013

Organisational Purpose The purpose of CHILDREN 1st Charitable Trust is to establish and operate services for young people and their families to support the development of social, emotional and life skills, with a view to assist them to make a more worthwhile contribution to society.
Our Trust aims to provide external, evidenced based programmes for children in a school setting, that fall within the middle to low range of needing social and emotional support. This objective is to help prevent them falling into the high risk category where they will require an ongoing high level of support.


CHILDREN 1st Charitable Trust was established in 2013 because our Trustees recognised a need to provide primary school aged children with extra support to improve their confidence, self esteem and teach them strategies to help them better cope with life today.
CHILDREN 1st is based in Cambridge and we currently offer & facilitate Resilience Programmes for children and their parents in Primary schools within the Waipa and Waikato region.
We have received ongoing support from both Community Waikato to assist in the development of our Trust and Herbert Morton Accountants in Cambridge.
Our Trustees have a positive and mutual respect for each other, are all motivated to help children and passionate about the Trust’s cause.
Three of our Trustees teach in schools in the Waikato and have been actively involved in education and the community for more than 20 years. It is very evident to our Trust that there is an increasing number of children and families that need extra support in coping with the challenges of daily life.

Chief Executor

Susan Lyon

Chief Executor
Profession – Primary Teacher
Sue is a registered Primary teacher who has worked in multi cultural settings for 30 years.
During that time she has worked in south Auckland as a Senior Teacher and a Deputy Principal at Mauke Primary, in the Cook Islands. Read More

Trust Members

Owen Corlett

Profession – Principal Lichfield Primary
My Name is Owen Corlett I am the Principal of Lichfield School, in the South Waikato. I have been involved in educating children for over 16 years and have held a range of teaching and leadership positions over this period…. Read More

Pauline Baty

Profession – Primary Teacher
My name is Pauline Baty. I am a Primary Teacher with many years experience in Primary and Preschool. My current position is the Transition to School Teacher, in a Reception Room, at Leamington Primary School in Cambridge… Read More

Sandra Hadfield

Profession – Accountants & Property
Sandra’s expertise lies in financial management, particularly in the education and residential construction sectors. During the 17 years Sandra was the finance officer of a school in the Waikato, from 1994 to 2012, she came to… Read More

Lynne Matthews

Trust Member
Profession – Secondary Teacher
My name is Lynne Matthews. I am a secondary teacher of more than 35 years’ experience. Most of my teaching career was spent at Cambridge High School and at St Peter’s School, Cambridge….. Read More

Past Trust Members

Tania Morrison

Profession – Principal Tainui Full Primary
My name is Tania Morrison. I am currently the Principal of Tainui Full Primary School in Tokoroa and I have 20 years experience working with children… Read More


CHILDREN 1st provides Resilience programmes in Cambridge schools for children aged 5 – 13 years, primarily free of charge.

All programmes are run by Registered teachers who are trained and experienced facilitators.
Children will benefit from gaining confidence, resilience, self esteem, empathy, social skills, building friendships by bringing in an external programme. (FRIENDS For Life)
Read More


Research shows

One in five adults and children suffer from anxiety and depression. This is more prevalent than ADHD, drug use, or any other mental health problem. Only 5% of cases receive intervention! ( Andrews, 2005 )
Anxiety and depressive disorders make up 60% of school and work difficulties ( Andrews 2005 ) New Zealand communities have one of the highest rates of bullying, mental health issues, youth suicide and family violence. Read More...