Meet Our Team


Meet The Volunteers


Mikayla  Lagnore

Hi my name is Mikayla. I am in year 13 and I'm homeschooled. My interests are horses and lots of other type of animals.


I heard about Hope Rising Farm from my friend and became a volunteer in 2020. I love volunteering because it gives me an opportunity to do heaps of different activities with the animals and have fun. I would recommend volunteering because it's so much fun. Everyone here is great and you get to do things you've probably never done before.


My favorite pony is Tango because he reminds me of myself. He has lots of energy and likes to be crazy sometimes and we both love jumping.


Naomi Pennings

Hi, my name is Naomi and I'm one of the volunteers at Hope Rising. I live on a dairy farm just outside of Hamilton with my parents and all my animals.

I have my own horse called Molly, a dog called Boots,
and 2 bunnies. My mum also has a horse. We both enjoy trekking over the farm together and sometimes going out with them.


I love helping at Hope Rising, it's a great place! Everyone there is super friendly. It's super fun working with all the animals and helping out with.


Keisha Gilling

Hi, I'm Keisha. 

I'm homeschooled and I've had animals around me my whole life. I love building strong relationships with them.

I also enjoy helping people and the community.
At Hope Rising I am able to do this and there are always smiles mixed in!


Mark Wairepo

Hi I'm Mark.

I joined Hope Rising in early 2021 as a buddy.


I've had lots of different life experiences including engineering, nursing, tutoring at the YMCA and coaching youth rugby. 

I love walking alongside the youth at Hope Rising Farm and giving them the opportunity to build confidence whilst learning new things. 


Isolde Pennings

My name is Isolde and this is Milo, my Kaimanawa.
I pleasure ride with my youngest daughter Naomi. She is 15 and has a horse called Molly.

I live on a dairy farm near Hamilton.
I’m also mum to six, mostly adult children.

I have helped at Hope Rising on and off for about 2 years now. I love Hope Rising because of the great team of people who work there. They have a genuine love for the people that come to Hope Rising.

I also enjoy seeing the connection many people make with the horses and ponies as they work with them and learn about how amazing equines truly are! Most of all I love Hope Rising's philosophy and mission.


Pete Simmons

Hi, I am Pete.

I have had a varied career, ranging from teaching to farming to engineering. For 14 years I was responsible for organizing and cooking a charity meal for about 200 people in Hamilton. I also worked closely with the attendees.

I am passionate about helping people realize their potential through little steps.