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#Unite20 supports Frontline Charities

#unite20 ShutterstockUnited Way COVID-19 Community Needs 

Research, released this month by United Way New Zealand, shows Kiwi charities are under increasing pressure, managing a surge in demand with fewer resources. Donations are needed to provide the services and resources needed. #Unite20

Topline Findings from United Way Research (with 390 charities participants)

  • 98% of charities who participated in the research reported they have been affected by Covid-19 
  • Additional funding remains the primary way to help frontline charities. (78% of Charities e surveyed reported this need).
  • 49% of the charities surveyed need volunteer assistance.
  • 48% report seeing an increase in demand due to Covid-19 and foresee this will be the case for the next 12 months

Anecdotal themes emerging

  • Food banks and mental health charities in particular have experienced increased demand, as have those supporting youth and the elderly (One foodbank in Auckland reported going from 35-45 parcels per day usually to 794 in one day during April and Age Concern Whanganui received over 1200 phone calls in three days - mostly regarding online supermarket shopping).
  • Many charities fear that the full effects of Covid-19 are yet to hit, they are preparing for increased demand in levels 1 as centres re-open and services can resume.
  • Some are commenting that if additional funding isn't found they may have to reduce services.                
  • Many are concerned that traditional funding mechanisms such as stores, gaming proceeds and funding rounds have been removed or disrupted due to Covid-19
  • Many have had to adapt during lock down to supporting those in need via telephone calls as face-to-face support was not possible. Most reported staff and volunteers adapted well.
  • Many charities comment increased anxiety levels among the community.
  • Additional areas of inquiry included; counselling support, online shopping support, applying for benefits, wage subsidy inquires, employment and employment law queries and requests for food parcels.

If you can provide additional financial resources for frontline charities please click here


Mastercard Cares

Mastercard donation provides post-trauma support to those affected by the Christchurch Mosque shootings

While over a year has passed, the people impacted by the Christchurch Massacre continue to feel its affects. Thanks to a generous grant received this month from Mastercard, frontline charities supporting those affected have some extra help.

This week United Way NZ distributed $65,000 to Christchurch Resettlement Services, 180 Degrees Trust, Waitaki Multi-Cultural Council, 298 Youth Health Centre, Youthline Central South Island, Aoraki Migrant Centre, PIPS Pregnancy Infancy Parenting Support and Compassion Trust to continue the important work they do helping those affected by the tragedy to continue to heal. Thank you Mastercard for remembering those affected.

"It made my week to receive and distribute a grant of $65,000 from Mastercard to eight frontline charities to help them continue their critical work supporting those impacted by last year’s Christchurch Mosque Massacre. Thank you Mastercard for recognising that the process of supporting individuals and communities to heal continues long after the event itself"
Heather Rankin, United Way NZ Grants Manager

#Unite20 fund supports single parent/caregiver families

Birthright Wanganui are supporting families  led by one person, who are under stress due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Birthright Wanganui has been providing support to families in Whanganui for over 60 years and they need our help during COVID-19. 

Please click here to DONATE.

Isolation is very much a reality for sole parent/caregiver families, having limited support from other family members and friends. Staff keep in regular contact to support families, and are on call during the lockdown, adjusting their support to meet individual family needs. This support will continue over the coming days, weeks and months ahead.

Families have shared their feelings of what they are going through during the lockdown, including not being able to have any respite, as having to be available for their children 24/7. This can take a toll on mental health and well-being, as they are the only adult in the household. Basic needs such as food, heating, clothing and bedding have also increased during this time, making stress levels even higher.

The money raised will go towards ensuring that sole parents/cargivers and their children are supported and getting what they need. It will support the provision of our core services to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the future.

Birthright supports families to be nurtured, inspired and resilient, and is the only organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand that specialises in working with families led by one person. This support is vital now more than ever before with the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Sole parent families can be a mother, father, grandmother, other whanau member or adult. They are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, and this is even more apparent during these unprecedented times.

All DONATIONS are tax deductable and 100% (less credit card fee) goes to Birthright Wanganui so they can provide family services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Support English Language Partners to provide online services

Help English Language Partners provide online support for former refugees and migrants during the COVID-19 outbreak 

To DONATE Click Here 

With the COVID-19 lockdown and face-to-face tutoring in homes and classes no longer possible, English Language Partners were able to respond quickly.

English Language Partners’ community-based teachers and volunteers continue to build on their teaching skills so they can support former refugees and migrants and their communities.

Nationally, English Language Partners have had over 280 online language groups meeting and in the weeks since lock down learners from across New Zealand have attended over 28,000 hours of online classes.

Learning hasn’t stopped at English Language Partners – Many of these learners have very limited English and few contacts in the wider community to turn to in a time like this. For some learners this is their first opportunity to engage with technology in English. We are even hearing of people ‘bringing a friend’ to class which means we are reaching new people that would otherwise be isolated

Click here to DONATE and 100% of your donation goes to English Language partners (less credit card fees)


English Language Partners
Operating for over 40 years, English Language Partners is a national community-based charity that delivers English language lessons and enables effective settlement. Our vision is that former refugees and migrants participate successfully in all aspects of life in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We would like to thank The Tindall Foundation 
For providing financial relief to English Language Partners via the COVID-19 Quick Response Fund, managed by United Way NZ. This donation has provided an initial donation to English Language Partners in Canterbury, Otago and Southland.  

#Unite20 makes it easy to donate

#Unite20 is a fundraising platform

Designed to help many frontline charities who are providing necessary services due to the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond. 

We’re asking everyone who can, to donate $20 or whatever you can afford, to help a frontline charity

  • United Way New Zealand research is now showing that over 98% of Kiwi charities have been directly affected by Covid-19 and 88% of charities are in need if additional financial support
  • Charities are expecting demand to continue to grow for another 6-12 months.

100% of your donation (less a card processing fee), goes directly to Frontline Community Charities in need of financial support. You can also choose which charities to support.




All charities have been identified for their hard work in the community by United Way's online COVID-19 community need surveys and verified by United Way's staff and community volunteers as requiring urgent support

Homelessness a real issue during COVID-19

Drug-Arm Christchurch are on the frontline with other community organisations helping homeless people in the Canterbury region. United Way NZ's recent donations to Drug-Arm have been very well received  in this very important time. We thank them for the work they are doing for the vulnerable and marginalised.

Drug-Arms mission is...

We believe everyone has a purpose, hope and a future.

We want to help them find or reconnect with this and overcome things that get in the way


Thank you to The Tindall Foundation

Thank you to The Tindall Foundation for donating to the COVID-19 Quick Response Fund. This has allowed United Way to already distribute $125,000 to the following community charities in need of Financial assistance due to the COVID-19 Outbreak. 

29 Charities have been helped through this fund to date: 

  1. Life to the Max in Whanganui - Support for young people and families in need.
  2. Te Ora Hou Whanganui - Youth and family support.
  3. Birthright Whanganui - Supporting single parent families in need.
  4. Wai Ora Christian Community Trust in Whanganui - Providing food, shelter and essentials to families and have opened their orchard to those in need.
  5. Manawatu Rural Support Services - Supporting families in the rural community who are dealing with a drought as well as COVID-19.
  6. Housing Advice Centre in Manawatu - Working right across the community to help individuals and families with a housing needs.
  7. Just Zilch - Manawatu Food Rescue, working with local food banks during level 4 and supporting homeless people.
  8. Palmerston North Neighbourhood Support - Connecting neighbours and people in the community who are: both lonely and frightened, supporting elderly parents, disabled or vulnerable family members (mental health issues), have cancer & needing medication and people needing food and essentials.
  9. Waimate Link in South Canterbury - Connecting families and people and taking Calls for Civil Defence
  10. Fale Pasifika o Aoraki in South Canterbury - Providing support packages and information to the local Pacific Island community – classed as an essential service presently and working from Community House. Looking after over 200 families with food packages.
  11. Centrecare Counselling Waimate - Providing Counselling to families and people, who are in need of mental health and well-being support.
  12. Drug Arm Canterbury Working with community organisations to help the Homeless, vulnerable and marginalised.
  13. English Language Partners Canterbury - Supporting new immigrant and refugee families. Running online classes and providing phone support for families and home-based learners. They currently have 91 learners online which has increased from 49 within a week.
  14. Foodbank Canterbury - As an essential service organisation who are providing food to families and community organisations.
  15. The Hope Community Trust Canterbury - Providing a food bank and have Counselors providing support online services.
  16. Canterbury Mens Centre - Supporting men in Canterbury and their family relationships.
  17. Birthright Canterbury Trust - Supporting single parent families and their children. Families who are already isolated having no family supports and many rely on Birthright workers for support.
  18. English Language partners Otago - Helping refugee and new immigrants navigate through COVID-19. In Dunedin ELP now has 128 learners online, which was 86 in the previous week.
  19. KiwiHarvest Otago - Helping distribute food to families and community groups. Donations go to fuel costs and vehicle costs which have risen due to the increase in demand.
  20. Pregnancy Help Dunedin - Providing practical support to families and their babies by sending packages out via courier.
  21. Youthline Otago - Helpline and community connection with youth.
  22. Corstorphine Community Hub in Otago - Running a Food share - 24 families (with 104 in total), adults and children receiving help. Working with Kiwiharvest for supplies for low-income families.
  23. Garden to Table Dunedin - Helping children and families with online resources for cooking and growing food and support co-ordinators helping with community connections.
  24. Volunteering Otago Trust - Working with Civil Defense to provide services for families and communities in need.
  25. Southland Youth One Stop Shop - Providing social services remotely by phone & online with youth coaches, transition coaches, and case manager working from home.
  26. Able Charitable Trust (Southern Family Support) - An essential service that covers all of Southland. Very busy during lockdown. Preparing/delivering food parcels, creating pod casts for mental well being, remote counselling, etc.
  27. Tuatapere Community Worker Support Trust - Arranging shopping, food parcels. High level of volunteer assistance.
  28. Youthline Southland - Helpline and community connection with youth.
  29. English Language Partners Southland - Helping refugee and new immigrants navigate through COVID-19. In Southland ELP now 43 online learners, which was 18 the previous week.

Still the need within our community continues, please donate to this fund so we can help further charities applying for assistance.


United Way Research Media Release

Media release: Survey shows frontline charities battling double-edged sword due to Covid-19

Research, released today by United Way New Zealand, shows Kiwi charities are under increasing pressure, managing a surge in demand with fewer resources during the Covid-19 lockdown. The study, which surveyed 200 charities across New Zealand, found 95% have been directly affected by Covid-19. More than 74% require additional funding, 41% additional staff and volunteers and 27% additional resources, to continue to provide New Zealanders in need with the same support available prior to the pandemic.

“Charities are facing the same challenges as businesses with reduced cashflow, fundraising avenues such as op shops and events unable to run and staff working from home. But at the same time demand for their services is growing,” says United Way New Zealand CEO, Teresa Moore.

While all charities are responding to the need to do more with less, small to medium frontline charities without the cash reserves or larger funding base of larger counterparts are feeling the pinch more keenly.

 “Charities are a first port-of-call for those who are struggling, whether with mental health, disabilities, economic hardship or issues such as family violence, says Moore.

“Charities in all parts of New Zealand are telling us that, in addition to Covid-19 putting more pressure on those already in need, they are also supporting a growing number of people who would not usually require their help.”

 Moore says there is a lot New Zealanders can do to help local frontline charities weather Covid-19.

“If you are still employed, any money you can spare would make a huge difference to your local charities. You could also contact your employer to find out whether they have a payroll giving scheme in place.

“And if you have time on your hands during lockdown, ask if you can give your local charity a hand. Everything from staffing the telephone to professional services such as legal and accounting support is required.

“United Way’s online donations platform provides Kiwi’s with a list of charities they may like to donate to, or you can contact your preferred charities directly via their websites.”

United Way cautions that while life will go back to normal for many following the lockdown, charities expect the increased dependency for their services to remain for many months.

“Covid-19 is challenging all of us, however, many disabled, elderly, mentally ill and economically disadvantaged New Zealanders are paying a particularly high price.

“New Zealand’s charities are the frontline responders in times of need and now, more than ever they could do with a hand,” says Moore.

The full findings from the United Way Covid-19 Community Needs Survey are attached.

United Way’s advice to support local charities

  1. Donate what you can spare – visit or contact your local charity directly
  2. Ask your employer about payroll giving
  3. Volunteer while you have some extra time on your hands.

Media contact:

Teresa Moore
CEO - United Way (NZ) Charitable Trust

The Compassion Soup Kitchen has a rich history in the Wellington community

Operating since 1901, The Compassion Soup Kitchen has a rich history in the Wellington community, and they strive to ensure that the mission of Suzanne Aubert, who founded the organisation, is kept alive through their work/mahi with people on the margins of society. Thank you for the work you do from the team at United Way NZ. If you can help with their 12 days of Soup Kitchen Christmas needs please contact The Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington

Christmas Shoebox Campaign

United Way NZ would like to thank the companies who helped us put together 240 boxes of presents, for children who would otherwise be going without this Christmas.

A special thanks to the staff of:

Grant Thornton

Kohler NZ

Pitney Bowes

Chubb Insurance,

Ignite Architecture and

Natures Bounty

United Way NZ is working with Budgeting & Family Support Services, who operate in Mangere Otara & Tuakau, to distribute the presents to families experiencing hardship this Christmas.