BBM and the pivot from fitness to essential services

The BBM program promotes and raises awareness to encourage people to come together, to move, have fun and know that obesity can be overcome.

The attendees of BBM’s programs are predominately Maori and Pasifika many of which are vulnerable suffering long term conditions such as diabetes, gout, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and mental health issues. BBM has helped New Zealand communities lose 1,000’s of kilos and even helped reverse type 2 diabetes. To date, the BBM program has over 14,000 members and has saved countless lives promoting a lifelong lifestyle and health and well-being change.

In Dave's own words;

Two years ago, I was introduced to Hugh Green Foundation through my friend Brendon Pongia at Cure Kids. Brendon connected me with Hugh Green’s CEO Adrienne Thompson, and I then had a meeting and presented BBM’s work, sharing stories about how BBM has helped many of our members reduce their weight, revert diabetes and improve their relationships and gain employment and opportunities for improving their situation for themselves and their families.

Adrienne recognized BBM’s social profile and acknowledged the impact we were having. Hugh Green Foundation was quick to support us and helped us to deliver BBM programs in Takanini, South Auckland.

The Hugh Green Foundation’s continued support has basically been the catalyst for BBM’s growth and everything we have done to date enabling us to get to where we are today.

Prior to meeting Adrienne, we did not have anything and were operating on random funding that was limited and short term. However, to date since receiving their support we now have employed four full-time employees and two part-time and have established a Head Quarters and venue located in Manukau. This is where we continue to deliver Free Community health and wellbeing programs for up to 1000-1500 people per week. The support we received from Hugh Green Foundation, has been crucial to getting us to the point where we are now receiving more requests to deliver programs in schools, community groups and provide health education to corporate businesses. We continue to work towards building the skills of more leaders to provide sustainable employment opportunities through BBM.

All our current BBM Leaders will graduate next month having completed Skills Active Aotearoa’s New Zealand Certificate in Sport, Exercise and Leisure Operations (Level 3) and also have First Aid training. Our focus is to create more leaders to help grow and scale BBM beyond the Auckland regions and in doing this help to create a pathway to education and employment.

What BBM are currently involved in;

The profile of BBM has grown with requests for Dave to be in more media interviews regarding Pasifika and Maori health issues and has also helped BBM to approach the University of Auckland to do a study on BBM Participants and 5-year longitudinal research that will legitimise and prove our service and concept providing concrete data and evidence that shows that what we do works.

Last week we received news from the University of Auckland Research team, that their applications for funding from the Health Resource Council were successful. The first 3-month participant study will commence this month, and the long term study will start from the beginning of 2021.

For more information see our blog:

During the COVID-19 lockdown, BBM moved quickly to continue providing our health and well-being programs in an accessible online platform. Utilising Facebook Live video, we streamed 17 free live exercise workouts every week over the lockdown, while applying for support from the Ministry of Social Development to open and operate a Food Bank to help our local community.

We heard many stories from people in our community who have lost jobs, gone without food, and have had experienced domestic violence and extreme hardship. Due to cultural barriers, many in our community are also unable to access adequate support and are heavily reliant on the support of charities. The need was/is still great, and we are approached daily by families needing food, blankets, baby products, heaters, and access to other wrap-around advocacy support.

A few key things BBM did in the last few months of 2020

· We repurposed our venue and started providing essential services

· Hired commercial chillers and freezers to stock large quantities of food donations that would have been destined to landfill and waste.

· We had volunteers support the quick repack and distribution of food out to our members and the wider community who really need food to provide for their families.

· We have supported up to over 1500 people each a week with food parcels and supermarket gift cards.

· Created community networks with other charitable services and NGO’s that deliver food to give to deprived families thus having a larger social impact and reach in communities

· Continuation of purchasing of essential food and household/baby necessities and items to support families access wrap-around services

· Collaborated with The Ministry of Health, Counties Manukau and South Point Family Doctors to provide two free flu jab – drive through immunisation events

· Provided two all-day events giving out Free Food Parcel and Baby Nappies to help families in need to receive essential food supplies

· Implemented a new digital booking software to register our members and allow them to book for free sessions when we moved to Level 1

· Used the system to alert and communicate information relating to a positive case at one of our West Auckland Bootcamps – all members who attended all tested negative for COVID.

· Received acknowledgment and thanks from Ministry of Health Services for our action to alert member and handling of the situation

· Had an online ZOOM call meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to talk about the work we are doing

· Dave asked to be an ambassador to promote United Against COVID-19 message for Pacific Communities

· Current Affairs Interview on Te Ao Marae with Moana on Maori Television

· Prime Minister Jacinda, visits BBM HQ to see site operations, meet our team and also talk to people we have helped support

· Currently, BBM continues to help families struggling with food insecurity and we anticipate the need will continue before and after Christmas 2020