Book project gathers momentum

Nearly 400 books donated

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 15/10/2012
Hayden Vaughan
JOHN BISSET
PHASE ONE COMPLETE: Hayden Vaughan with the copies of Sir John Kirwan’s book he has so far for Timaru high.

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Hayden Vaughan has reached his target, with books to help prevent youth depression and suicide to be delivered to Timaru high schools this week. The next step is to take it nationwide.

Mr Vaughan began his mission to get former All Black Sir John Kirwan's book about his battle with depression, All Blacks Don't Cry, into South Canterbury high schools in September. He hopes the book will act as a valuable resource and this week will start delivering the books to schools, with two businesses alone stumping up with over 300 copies, on top of the 80 donated so far by individuals.

Local schools have requested around 300 copies, and one school is keen to use it in the English department as a project.

He is now looking to expand the project into Oamaru and Ashburton, and then nationwide.

"It's been an amazing response. The books have been flowing in and the biggest surprise to me was the support from the local business community," Mr Vaughan said. "Chevron, which is about to reopen its fuel tanks in Timaru, has ordered between 225 and 250 books. They like to do something for the community they are based in and Wendy Smith from ADBT (Aoraki Development Business and Tourism) suggested the project.

"I got a call from Alpine Energy who were going to donate 10 books, but they rang back and said they had thought about it and didn't think 10 was enough and they decided to donate 100 books.

"I haven't been to one company and put my hand out, so these are just people hearing the story and wanting to help, which I think is pretty awesome."

As books are delivered this week, Mr Vaughan will also again approach schools which did not reply to his original offer.

He is keen for donations to continue to allow him to extend the project. "Although I have exceeded the target, keep the books rolling in so we can go bigger and bigger with this. I don't want people to take their foot off the pedal," he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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