Thank you Dell Technology for donating Laptops for our frontline community charities,
Just Zilch Food Rescue and Palmerston North Women's Refuge were our latest recipients.
Aspire Canterbury aims to support people with any impairment or long-term health issues. Aspire aims to help these people get on with their lives, to be able to do what they want and live with freedom and independence.
Aspire offers a range of services to the Canterbury community, including:
- Free and un-bias disability and health information and advice
- Updates on local and regional events and notices
- Mobile Service Christchurch and the Wider Canterbury region
- Total Mobility Scheme provider
- Attends continence product service
- Range of assistive products that support daily living
- Fieldworkers network meetings
These services are provided to the community by Aspire staff and their volunteers. Each worker at Aspire wants to make sure no person is left unseen. They aim to provide assistance in living and health education to make sure people in need understand the outlets they can turn to in an emergency.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Aspire Canterbury used their ingenuity to create a safe system to make sure they could still support their community without putting anyone at risk of spreading Covid-19. Aspire worked to deliver food to people's front doors and underwent a big office move to a more safer area. Aspire Canterbury undertook phone consultations and made sure the people in their community still felt supported and looked after.
Aspire Staff Profile:
Nathan is a volunteer at Aspire. Before volunteering for Aspire, Nathan worked in the Gold Coast, Australia running his own roofing business. At the age of 18, Nathan suffered a stroke and had to re-learn to walk. However, he didn't let this beat him. Nathan is currently studying to be a support worker at ARA and working at Aspire Canterbury. Nathan is using his experiences to positively impact lives.
It is amazing workers such as Nathan that make charities such as Aspire sparkle. Thank you Aspire Canterbury for all you do for people in the Canterbury region.
At United Way New Zealand we’re partnering with an increasing number of New Zealand businesses looking to maximise the impact of their CSR and community engagement activity. So, we’re excited to announce that Sally O’Brien will be joining the United Way New Zealand whanau as National Partnership Manager.
Sally brings a wealth of experience working in both large private sector organisations and the not-for-profit sector. She began her career in the public sector, moving to roles in managed funds in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Following time out to grow her family, Sally was appointed as Volunteering Auckland’s employee volunteer coordinator where she assisted organisations with their corporate volunteering projects.
Sally is hitting the ground running at United Way New Zealand, getting stuck into helping us and our partners achieve our goal of doubling the number of children who will receive gifts this Christmas via our annual Christmas Shoebox Project. We’re sure you’ll be chatting to Sally soon, but in the meantime here’s the lowdown on United Way New Zealand’s newest team member.
How do you like to start your day?
With tea and a good morning cuddle from my kids.
What is the best thing about living in New Zealand?
The freedom to roam around different landscapes and the understated kiwi sense of humour.
What attracted you to United Way NZ?
I was fortunate to spend time with Teresa at a couple of workshops and cross business meetings and was impressed with United Way’s enthusiasm for partnerships with business and the not-for-profit sector. I like how United Way New Zealand has an all-encompassing approach to CSR and a ‘can-do’ attitude.
What is your favourite place in New Zealand?
Garston, Northern Southland
How do you think organisations can best help New Zealand community charities?
Partnership is a great way to help not-for-profits and charities. Mainly because the benefits gained by both sides, leveraging skills and resources, and impact are best gained through this unique arrangement. It's also the best kind of business where doing good and doing well can work in harmony.
What is the best advice you ever received?
“Always leave the party when you are having the best time”. My late Mum told me that years ago and, as usual, she was right. Thanks Mum
What was your best day at work ever?
Helping a group of volunteers run a Special Olympics Basketball competition. A lot of the corporate volunteers didn't know the first thing about the rules of basketball and were asked to referee. Once they got over their fear they just jumped in and made sure the kids got their competition day up and running. I think the volunteers actually got more out the day than the kids. It made me realise just how important the helping of others does so much to lift spirits. Something that resonates in the world right now I reckon.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am learning how to garden having no real success in the past so starting with apparently ‘no brainers’ like succulents. This is from someone who can’t grow mint so wish me luck!!
I like running in the Auckland Xterra events. My husband and I also enjoy live music and we are looking forward to getting back to seeing bands from New Zealand and abroad soon.
Tea or coffee?
Both! Tea first thing in the morning and coffee before lunchtime
Crescendo is a visionary, unique and professional social enterprise that grows young people between the ages of 12-24 across various satellite hubs across Auckland. They provide services such as sound production, band and music groups and other creative areas. As a social enterprise, Crescendo works to provide opportunities for young people in Aotearoa through a range of commercial services. They generate income through gigs, event management, video and sound production, and integrate this into their programmes. Not only does this provide Crescendo with revenue, but also real-life work experience and income opportunities for their rangatahi.
-EMPOWERING RANGATAHI TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS-
- Crescendo's programme is called the "Link Up." The LinkUp allows you to pick the modules that will benefit you in your journey to being a more self sustained artist. The music industry has multiple pathways. Crescendo recognise that there are different creative areas people want to explore and hence, compiled different pathways into specific units and broken down each unit into modules. Their units cover beat making, production, song writing, live performance, radio broadcasting, how to promote yourself and more!
- Each module in the LinkUp is taught weekly. The weekly group sessions are run two times a day (11am-3pm with time for lunch and 4pm-6:30pm), Monday-Friday. Crescendo recommend each young person book for 1 of these sessions only 1 day/week.
- Advanced students have the option to book in for additional solo sessions any available time 11am-7pm Mon-Fri, where they are making all the music and pushing all the buttons (with a mentor floating around for help as requested).
- Crescendo also offer 2 hour 1:1 mentoring sessions for those looking for intensive sound recording and radio teaching and or want a way to ease into group work.
- Each week rangatahi will progress through learning modules, until they complete and receive their certificate. The learning modules are set up to run from 1-6 weeks in length and are designed so that you do not need to take the sessions consecutively, allowing for the rangatahi to book in their learning to suit their schedule.
Life Matters is building a community that supports young people around New Zealand suffering with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
Navigating the mental health system can be complicated.Research done by Life Matters have found that there are 5 key issues for individuals trying to reach out for help in New Zealand
- Difficulty Accessing Services - Finding a service that has enough room, especially during the spike in mental health issues during the Covid-19 lockdown is a problem for people all around New Zealand
- Lack of Compassion - Many mental health professionals are volunteers and can be overworked, meaning that people needing treatment for mental health do not get the correct attention needed to help overcome mental health issues.
- Lack of Follow-up - Often, after seeing a mental health professionals, people are just left to go on with life by themselves. Follow-ups are just as important as treatment.
- Inadequate support for families and loved ones - The mental health system provides no guidance to families who have lost a loved one to suicide. After a suicide, comes grief. Huge, monumental, incomprehensible grief. While navigating this grief a family is also then confronted by the vicious bureaucratic realities of death: funeral expenses, tying up loose ends, debt collection agencies, legal matters and, too often, questions of culpability.
- Stigma - seeking health can be difficult for anybody, especially when there is a stigma around mental health issues and seeking help. We should be committed to ending the stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness. If we, as a society, can talk loudly about these issues that affect so many of us, then these barriers to support can be broken down.
Each of these key issues have been identified by Life Matters as reasons for individuals not truely getting the help they need.
Last week we called Rebecca from Just Zilch to have a chat to her about how Just Zilch has grown from its outset to become the biggest free food store in New Zealand!
How did Just Zilch Start?
Just Zilch started because I was volunteering at another organisation that had leftover food. I got permission to give that food away around town. I found I was always really busy and people were responding to it. I then found out about the concept of a food store and though that was a great idea seeing as that was what I was basically doing! I took that idea and over the next 9 months developed it and found a team that were wanting to work with me. In June 2011 we opened?
How has Just Zilch changed?
The growth has been unbelievable. In the first year we were serving around 80 people a day. Now, we have over 300 people come through the shop a day. The sheer numbers have drastically increased. This has meant we rely on a whole lot more on volunteers.
What challenges have to Covid-19 lockdown presented?
Because we were not clarified as an essential service, we worked with other social services such as the Salvation army and Methodist food banks and gave them the food we collected, and they put it into packs that were then delivered to households. This provided some
relief to families that were low on food.
What are your plans for the future of the food bank?
It has been really amazing because, over the lockdown period, we got more food than we ever had before. Particularly in terms of non-perishable food. This is very exciting because we have been able upscale the other part of what we do which is keep food in our warehouse which we acquired last year. This meas. We have been able to give food to other community organisations. Whanganui, Levin, Rotorua, Hawkes bay and even the South Island! We have had the help of very generous transport companies such as PBT helping us with this.
What are the guidelines around donating food?
There are no rules really. We are set up to take perishable foods. If people have food from their garden like fruits and vegetables, we are able to take them. If people are cleaning out their cupboards and are able to donate it, we will take those kinds of things too. Even if businesses want to donate bigger lots of food we are able to take that too!
What is your volunteer process?
It is really, really easy! We now have a volunteer coordinator as we have to many volunteers!
We ask people to email or come in and see the volunteer coordinator.
What are the volunteer’s responsibilities?
It depends what they’re doing. We have around 110 volunteers every week. We have a shop so in the morning some duties include cleaning, collecting food. When the shop opens, we need shopkeepers/servers.
Corstorphine Community Hub is a place set up by the community for the community. Operating in Dunedin the hub opened in 2013 with a community garden, but today they have grown to become a centre where whanau can access a broad range of free health and social services, attend workshops and classes, collect free food or just come along to meet people and enjoy the company of others.
The hub provides a food share on Fridays to around 130-140 whanau in need each week. The food is delivered to Corstorphine team, unpacked, repacked and put into family boxes for those who need it to pick up. With the help of Kiwi harvest being their main providers, Corstorphine was considered an essential service throughput the lockdown period, and they were able to provide a sense of relief to the families they support.
THEIR MISSION IS TO STRENGTHEN FAMILIES, PROMOTE WELLNESS AND IMPROVE ACCESS TO SERVICES WHILE LINKING THE COMMUNITY WITH EACH OTHER AND ENCOURAGING SELF-SUSTAINABILITY AND HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES.
We spoke to Dale at Corstorphine Community hub:
“As recipients, we had the pleasure of meeting one of the providers of Kai to Kiwiharvest and discuss with them the issues whanau face when shopping for our most basic necessity, food. Countdown staff recognised the increase in declined eftpos transactions and wanted to talk to a community group to find out how we work with whanau to support them and what were the most unaffordable items for whanau, that was simple, fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and cleaning products.. This is a first for us all, recipients meeting providers through the awesome mahi of the KiwiHarvest team.... Kia manuia koutou and thank you for your constant support."
“At the end of the day its all worth the smiles, tears and relief to whanau.” - Dale Pene-Smith, Corstorphine Hub Coordinator.
If you would like to donate to Corstorphine community hub;
3M and United Way New Zealand joined forces recently to help community charities and support services across New Zealand experiencing increased demand for their services due to Covid-19. On behalf of 3M, United Way New Zealand has distributed NZ$89,975 (US$59,000) in emergency funding to 16 community charities across New Zealand which are on the frontlines of supporting New Zealanders with the effects of the global pandemic.
A total of 98% of community frontline charities have been directly affected by Covid-19 according to research conducted in April by United Way New Zealand, managing a surge in demand alongside reduced sources of income. United Way New Zealand Chief Executive, Teresa Moore said small to medium community charities are acutely affected as they are the first port-of-call for those in need and do not have in-house marketing or fundraising resources.
“While there’s no doubt that Covid-19 is impacting everyone; young people, the elderly and those living with mental health challenges, economic hardship and family violence are disproportionately affected, says Moore.
“Thanks to 3M we were able to get funding straight to those charities on the frontlines, so they could help those most affected by Covid-19,” said Moore.
Community charities are also being approached by increasing numbers of people who have not needed support before. Food banks across the country have reported daily demand increasing more than 20 times. A charity supporting the elderly received over 1200 calls in three days as shopping for groceries online became necessary, and mental health charities, particularly those supporting youth require funding to bring in additional counsellors to support a growing number of young New Zealanders in crisis.
Charities are expecting demand to continue to grow for another three to six months, and not drop for quite some time. Many are bracing for the wage subsidy scheme which is coming to an end next month.
“Since the outbreak began, 3M has addressed the COVID-19 pandemic from all angles and across all stakeholders, and this includes supporting our community partners around the world,” said Chris LeBlanc, Managing Director, 3M Australia and New Zealand. “It’s important that 3M holds true to its core values during this pandemic by supporting our communities and improving lives. Throughout this global crisis, we will continue to look for ways to help in the fight against COVID-19.”
United Way New Zealand works alongside donor organisations such as 3M to maximise the impact of their CSR by designing and executing bespoke workplace giving and volunteering programmes which align with that organisation’s people, values and the communities they work within.
"It's rewarding to know our funding is going to where it is needed most," said LeBlanc.Read more