Slide background

Welcome to Living Well

Slide background





Res-Kids stands for ‘Resilient Kids’. Using adventure based learning Res-Kids will expand on selected life-skills in your year seven and eight students helping prepare them for their transition to high school and more importantly growing their resilience for the future.

Life-skills include :
  • Communication
  • Goal Setting
  • Team Work
  • Peer Awareness
  • Self Awareness
  • Problem Solving

We believe it is vital to be able to introduce students to challenging experiences, in a safe setting, which will teach them to learn and use these life skills; in turn building their resilience.


Adventure learning for a full class room. Thrive aims to build resilience and wellbeing with 11-12 year old students through building an awareness of self and through encouraging a culture that builds people up. Thrive is run with a class teacher in order for the teacher to gain the knowledge and use the language and theories in class once the programme is finished.

Intended Outcomes :
  • Build an understanding of DNA-V and how to use it to support mental and emotional wellbeing.
  • Increased resilience (the ability to work through and bounce back from adversity).
  • Increased confidence in self, communication and making friends.
  • Students will be better equipped to face life’s unexpected challenges as they learn that they are not alone.
  • Key teachers will gain an understanding to use the language of DNA-V and E Tū Tāngata in class

As we all experience increased levels of worry and anxiety in these challenging times the lessons learned in Thrive are more important than ever. We are equipping young people with knowledge and strategies that support and build the inner person.

24-7 YouthWork

In the primary schools we run programs and teach skills and strategies to support the wellbeing of our Taiohi. In the high school we ‘linger with intent’. We are in a unique position having met almost every new student entering our high schools through Res-Kids and Trive we are able to walk alongside Rangatahi in their transition from primary school to high school.

24-7 Youthwork is presence based youth work. It is a partnership between LivingWell Trust, Thames Baptist and Thames High School. What we do will be shaped by the school, it’s staff and our students

The five outcome from this initiative are
  • Supporting Students
  • Building Relationships
  • Developing Leadership
  • Cultivating School Spirit
  • Integration into out of School Activities (creating connection with the wider community).

At the heart of it, we seek to support the school and students in creating a space of belonging and connection. We want to see our young people thrive.

Our vision

Our vision is to see the Res-Kids programme expanded to all school in the region. In order to achieve this we need support.



Res-kids Update

This term we are running two groups from 7 different schools in Paeroa and Thames.


Visit Us Today!

If you would like to help through offering your time, resources or financially please let us know. A small contribution from a lot goes a very long way.

About Us



To inspire personal development using Christian hospitality in a challenging outdoor setting

We see every life as valuable; as a result, we desire to offer an exciting space that restores hope, instils an appreciation for life, and inspires positive decisions towards a fulfilled life.

We see every life as valuable. This is not a hollow statement but instead the very essence of Living Well Trust. Our programmes such as Res-Kids and 601 are not Christian in content although the inspiration, the drive have been influenced and shaped by our worldview. The name Living Well Trust has a two fold meaning; one is that we will encourage and empower individuals and the communities we are involved with to 'live well', the second is the the core of what drives us, a call to love and serve people which comes from Jesus "The Living Well" who says “I have come to give you life and life to the full” (John 10:10). We at Living Well want to see people living life and life to the full. We are not here to preach, we are here to love, to serve and to do all we can to see our town thriving. The programmes we offer are all about the people. The story of Jesus has shaped our worldview and we do what we do because of Him.

Our Story

Living Well Trust was established as Koinonia Trust in September 2011 by Michael and Jovana Wilkes and Lynne and Paul Chaffey. It began when two couples came together and started to share their dreams; dreams of intentional community, of loving people through hospitality and of inspiring people through the natural created environment. The dream was to establish a centre in the Waitakere Ranges that could offer retreats and outdoor programmes in the midst of Christian community and hospitality.

Initially we started small; we developed a programme called Res-Kids. The programme was all about putting students in certain environments to encourage the growth of different life-skills; skills such as resilience, the ability to work well in different teams, being able to communicate well with peers and parents. The programme ran for a term meeting once a week for half a day during school hours. Over the first year 36 students went through the programme and it was amazing to hear the positive reports that came back about students improving in all aspects of life, academics, sports and even at home. Parents shared of the excitement of seeing their children grow in confidence over the eight week programme.

Res-Kids was a great success but sadly came to an end for a time when Michael and his wife Jovana, who ran the programme, moved out of West Auckland over to the Coromandel Peninsula. Due to restrictions and cost in the Waitakere foothills they instead brought an accommodation business with Jovana’s parents in the Coromandel Peninsula. The dream of retreats and outdoor programmes remained and the property (Te Mata Lodge) was seen as something that could support not-for-profit initiatives through the accommodation business. For almost 2 years there was very little news out of Living Well Trust as life was very busy for all trustees; with family, moving homes, exploring community in different way and settling into a different lifestyle. In a sense this was a stage similar to the caterpillar forming a chrysalis before it can find its wings.

At the start of 2016 however Living Well Trust was reignited with a few local trustees joining the team and the invitation to make use of The Lamp on Mackay Street, Thames. Living Well Trust, now based in Thames, still beats for the heart of intentional community. But the focus and the dream has grown. Our heart is towards being intentional about seeing our local communities thriving and we want others to join us in that same heart, whether it is through supporting us or looking for other opportunities to help see our towns thriving.

Help Support Res-Kids



Contact Us


Send Us a Message



  • Living Well Trust
  • Charities Number: CC29731
  • Westpac Account Number: 03-0458-0005903-002