Hutt Valley

Hutt Valley


Life Education Trust Hutt Valley is one of the 32 community Trusts around New Zealand. The trust started in 1999 and is run by a group of dedicated, unpaid volunteers. The educator is a registered teacher who is a paid health specialist.

The Trust is supported financially by local businesses and community organisations.

Demand from schools in the Hutt Valley means that our classroom is fully booked every year. Our region includes the schools in Upper Hutt as far north as Plateau School and all of Lower Hutt including Wainuiomata, Eastbourne, Petone and the schools on the Western Hills.


Foundation sponsors

Hutt Valley sponsors

Our people

Patrons: Roy and Renate Savage

As the parents of four children, the Savages know the challenges in bringing up a family.  An eloquent speech by Trevor Grice in 1998 was enough to kindle Roy Savage’s interest in Life Education and he has been an active supporter ever since.  Mr Savage and his wife Renate provided the mobile classrooms for both the Hutt Valley and Nelson-Tasman Trust.  They felt it was a way of showing gratitude to both communities for their pleasant memories of earlier years there.

The couple have had a long involvement with sports including rugby, tennis and squash and along with Life Education Trust they’ve worked with other charitable causes such as theatre.  Mr Savage has a special interest in old cars and Mrs Savage in gardening.

Trust Chair/Secretary: Steve Graves

Steve has been involved with Life Education Trust Hutt Valley since its inception in 1998 as a Trustee and as its Secretary and Treasurer. Steve is a Director of Kendons Chartered Accountants Limited in Lower Hutt and he and his team provide the trust with many of its administrative and financial functions. He has seen the great benefits that Life Education trust provides to the primary school aged children in the region and is passionate about the cause.

Mobile Operations: Sheila Ellis

Sheila joined Life Education Trust Hutt Valley in 2000.  At the time, she had two young sons and thought that the organisations message was an important one for all families.  In the early years she was involved with managing the movement of the mobile classroom from school to school and still helps with that and with the maintenance of the classroom and also helps with fundraising.  Her two sons have grown up with the benefit of Life Education and she enjoys watching other children in the Hutt Valley have the same experience.

Educator Support Mentor: Doug Thwaites

Doug retired in 2001 from a teaching career of nearly five decades specialising in the education of emerging adolescents, nurturing both their learning and the understanding and practice of the many teachers in his care, based on researched evidence about how these children should be taught. He continued to mentor educators as a consultant to numerous schools and principals and as a Director of the Principal and Leadership Centre – Massey University, and as a Limited Statutory Manager for the Ministry of Education. He is also a Fulbright Alumnus (Chicago). His other major interest is sport where he excelled at Hockey and Athletics as a Wellington Rep. In this regard he has always encouraged all children to participate and compete in any sport to the utmost of their ability.  He maintains his passion for sport as an avid golfer playing at least twice a week. Highlighted in the four leading schools of which he was Principal, Puketiro (now Maungaraki School),  Wainuiomata Intermediate, Hutt Intermediate and Raroa Normal Intermediate, was the fact that enlightened education in a child’s formative years can be pivotal now and in the years ahead. That is why he works as mentor to our inspiring Educator, Andrea Young, to ensure that Hutt Valley children get the best possible chances to make the best possible choices in the immediate future and beyond. He, his wife Jenny and his well-known adult family all live and base their work and lives in the Hutt Valley.

Community Relations: Margaret Willard

Margaret has a background in education, community work and writing as a freelance journalist, and currently represents Wainuiomata on Hutt City Council. With her strong interest in seeing young New Zealanders get the best possible start in life, she supports Life Education Trust’s aim of helping young people care for themselves. She joined in 2012.

Fundraising: Paula Stace

Paula is originally from Manawatu however after meeting her husband Phil in London, they both decided to move back to New Zealand and settle in Wellington.  Paula currently lives in Lower Hutt.

Paula has just completed 20 years service at the ANZ Bank (Heritage NBNZ) and is Branch Manager at Lower Hutt branch and this is where her first exposure to Life Education occurred as ANZ is a major sponsor.  Paula has a young son, Jed, who was born in 2010 so the messages of Life Education have become even more interesting and relevant on how we can help our young people of today.  She is especially passionate about health, self-esteem and personal development.

Fundraising: Tim Belcher

Tim Belcher is a new trustee with the desire to use his networks in Rotary and business to support the Life Education Trust. Tim has been a Rotarian since 1997 and was the President of his Club in 2005.  He was recently awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for services to Rotary.  Tim retired from the Police after a 27 year career and for the past 15 years or so to the present, works in the Real Estate Industry.  Tim is married to Shona and has 3 adult daughters.  Shona is President of Hutt Valley Riding for the Disabled.  Two grandchildren keep them young.

While a police officer, it became apparent to Tim that our young needed all the direction they could get while growing and so as a Trustee, an opportunity arose to lend support to those who are committed to this ideal.

Trustee: Barbara Ware

Barbara joined Life Education Trust in 2016 and enjoys supporting the Trust's work helping the children of the Hutt Valley. She has found people's faces light up when talking about Harold and are keen to share their experience.

Barbara has worked around the wider Wellington region in both the government and private sector as a researcher, writer and editor.

Trust Support: Jo Mortimer

Jo Mortimer has been teaching in the Hutt Valley since 1997. In 2008 she worked with Harold as the Life Education Hutt Valley Educator up until the end of 2014 when she decided to return to the school environment and take up a teaching position at Rata Street School.

Jo has continued her association with Life Education Hutt Valley as a Trustee. In 2017 she accepted a position with Life Education Trust National Office in the role of Programme and Development Manager.

Advisor: Margaret Radford

Margaret is the mother of 4 sons, grandmother of 6 grandchildren, 5 granddaughters and 1 grandson. She lost one son to drugs and mental illness and has experienced first-hand how mind altering substances shatter the lives of promising, bright young lives.

She is a passionate believer in the message Life Education  Trust brings to our children and has been involved in the Hutt Valley Community Trust since it began in 1998, first as a trustee involved in fundraising, then as Chairman for 9 years.

She thoroughly enjoyed her time working hard to keep the trust in the forefront of the Hutt Valley community and raising money to keep the trust on a good financial footing.

She was honoured to be awarded a Life Membership of Life Education Trust in 2013.  She is involved as an advisor for the Hutt Valley Trust.

Advisor: Brian Shearer

Brian Shearer is married to Dianne, has 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren.  He is a retired Registered Surveyor and director of a multi-disciplined consultancy. Brian was the founding Chair of Life Education Trust Hutt Valley.  His present work with Life Education is in an advisory role for the Hutt Valley Trust and he is also a representative on the National Board for LETNZ.

His community involvement has included being a Justice of the Peace, Trustee of Aroha Care Centre for the Elderly (Chair of Property Committee) and voluntary driver.

Educator: Andrea Young

Andrea joined the trust in 2015, having recently arrived home from teaching science in Cairo, Egypt. Andrea grew up in the Hutt Valley and is a trained Secondary School Biology Teacher, having taught at Upper Hutt College for a number of years. She has two young children at primary school who love attending the Life Education Classroom and are big Harold fans.


Contact details

Chairperson: Steve Graves, 04 566 4399
Andrea Young, 021 503