Added support for Mairehau Primary School community

Mairehau Primary School

We are excited to welcome our new children’s counsellor, Judith Keir, to the Neighbourhood Trust team this month.

Judith will be providing counselling services to children and their whānau at Mairehau Primary School, as part of the Neighbourhood Trust Mairehau Community Project.

“I am looking forward to forging the kinds of relationships which bring growth and change for people who may be struggling with life,” says Judith. “I love the Maori concept of Te Whare Tapa Wha, which understands health as comprising of the physical, the spiritual, the family, and mental dimensions. These cornerstones are equally important to maintain a stable house (whare). If any of the walls are shaky, the whole structure is put under strain.”

Originally from the UK, Judith has called Christchurch home since 2003.

She has worked in education for the past 30 years, either as a teacher or presenter, and is about to finish her Bachelor of Counselling Degree at Laidlaw College.

“I believe everyone has infinite worth,” says Judith. “It is a privilege to journey with those brave enough to share their stories of pain and distress. Together we are stronger!”

In her spare time, Judith loves reading, travelling, music, movies and family time. Currently she and her family are experiencing the highs and lows of puppy training!

Judith Keir

Tomsett set to get programmes moving

Sarah Tomsett organising Kai Box

Sarah Tomsett joins the Neighbourhood Trust as our new Operations Manager. Sarah has the exciting and varied role of overseeing our Kai Box distribution; supporting our community members create CVs, seek employment, and improve interviewing techniques; establishing a Strength and Balance class; and working as our funding application manager.

These different facets of the job all play to Sarah’s many strengths.

“I’m very organised and I like having structure,” says Sarah. “That’s why I’m excellent at managing the Kai Box distribution and helping the process run as smoothly as possible.”

Sarah has a Graduate Diploma in HR, so has a good understanding around employment and helping applicants make their CV stand out from the crowd. She also has a degree in Psychology and has also completed Sport Science papers.

“I love sport and movement so am looking forward to helping older people stay as mobile as possible, and strengthen their bodies to help prevent serious injuries from falls,” says Sarah.

Sarah has been volunteering at Neighbourhood Trust events such as Mairehau Community Day and the Light Party for the past six years, so is familiar with the team and the value we bring to the people.

“I love how involved the Neighbourhood Trust is in the community,” says Sarah. “I love the people who work out of it – they have a real heart for helping others and seeing our neighbourhood thrive.”

Sarah also shares the Neighbourhood Trust’s passion for supporting people. “I love seeing the potential in others and I love getting alongside them, helping them become more than what they currently are,” she says. “If I can be a stepping stone, then I’d love to be one.”

Sarah is also known to be quite competitive, and into sports. “I love my rugby – LOVE IT. I’m a big Crusaders and All Blacks fan, so always at the games or watching them on TV. I like hanging out with my mates and playing board games. We actually just got a board game called Pandemic!”

If you would like to contact Sarah about any of the areas she is working in, please email her at

Sarah Tomsett - CV and job seeker support Mairehau

Chillingworth Road – worth a visit!

Chillingworth Road food

As part of our mission to support our local community, the Neighbourhood Trust is running a blog series on businesses we believe are pretty awesome, and positively contribute to our special area of Christchurch.

Our first business spotlight is on restaurant Chillingworth Road, a popular location for Neighbourhood Trust staff to have lunch or a coffee.

Tucked in the Cranford Street (Northwood end) network of shops and eateries, Chillingworth Road is a memorable bistro and fine dining establishment, with an entire wall of glinting awards to prove its iconic status.

The restaurant was formed eight years ago, just after the earthquakes, and has a loyal clientele base from Christchurch, and visitors from around New Zealand.

“In hospitality you’ve got three major things that people want – atmosphere, food, and service,” says General Manager, Mark Harris. “A lot of places out there maybe hit one of those, if they’re lucky two, and then exceptionally three, and that’s where we’ve always prided ourselves – on having all three, year in and year out.”

What to expect

Chillingworth Road is the sort of place anyone can go to and have a really enjoyable experience with exciting high-quality food, exceptional service, and a delightful atmosphere. They cater to what the customer is in need of at the time.

Coffee & lunch

“During the day it’s more casual sort of food,” says Mark. “We’re in the process of setting up a more bistro-ey lunch menu, and maybe extending our hours over the weekend, which we hadn’t done previously, so that focusses on the days of people whisking by just wanting their coffees, grabbing something to take to work, or for a lot of the people around us, dropping in for lunch, meetings etc.”

They have cabinet food, gourmet sandwiches, salads and other yummy lunch and afternoon tea morsels.


In the evenings they run their bistro out the front, providing casual, ala carte meals. “It’s all about flavour and sauces and keeping it fresh,” says Mark.


What Chillingworth are best known for is their exceptional degustation menus.

“We are leading in our field because the menus are about innovation and changing the dishes all of the time,” says Mark. “It takes people out of their shell too. It happens almost every second night, for example people saying ‘I don’t like salmon, but I just licked that salmon dish off the plate because it was incredible’. And that’s why they keep coming back – because we don’t do anything too crazy, and people spending good money want good value for money, and that’s what they get on both sides.”

Fresh is Best

The Chillingworth Road chefs make everything in house.

“All of the cakes and slices are all baked in house,” says Mark. “It means the quality of it is controlled. Everything’s made on a daily basis, there’s very little that’s held over for days on end.”

“We have a really special relationship with all our suppliers, because our ethos is ‘fresh is best’,” says Mark. “We want to keep people happy with the best and freshest ingredients, and locally sourced too. And that goes hand in hand with our wine list too. We have quite a large wine list, and wines from around Australia, and overseas, but predominately is all New Zealand and local wines. We’ve got some of the best produce in the world.”

Getting through the lockdown

Like all hospitality businesses, Chillingworth Road was impacted by the lockdown and not being able to open for over one month. However, Mark commends the Chillingworth Road (previous) owners, Darren Wright and Leanne Wright, for being exceptionally kind and supportive towards their staff during that time.

Post-lockdown they have been delighted with the backing of their clientele and encouraged to see so many people out and about enjoying local hospitality and catching up with loved ones.

“The feedback and support from people has just been amazing,” says Mark. “We knew with Covid, for the next couple of years there won’t be much travel, so we thought brace ourselves and get ourselves ready, get a couple of good deals for people to welcome them back. But when we opened we were completely flat out. It’s been really good.”

How to support Chillingworth Road

Do you have a birthday or special anniversary coming up? Book a table at Chillingworth Road and they will ensure you enjoy a spectacular meal! Or if you’re in the area, stop by for a coffee and muffin.

For booking information and to learn more about Chillingworth Road, visit their website and follow them on Facebook.

Farewell to Pat

We are very sad to say that a few weeks ago one of our lovely Golden volunteers, Pat, passed away.

Pat was a dedicated, willing volunteer, and was always happy to do whatever was needed. She helped out regularly at the Foot Clinic and Tours and also transported a lot of people to events who couldn’t drive.

This photo is the last one that was taken of Pat at the Golden Programme when she came on the Tour to Caddyshack City.

She will be missed dearly by many.

Neighbourhood Trust Kai Boxes featured on Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger map

Community Food Organisation Map New Zealand

The Kore Hiakai Zero Hunger Collective is made up of a group of social service organisations who are working together to eliminate food insecurity in Aotearoa New Zealand, including:

In November 2019 they formed a partnership with the Ministry for Social Development, advising on food insecurity for the community food distribution sector.

They are currently connected to around 200 food banks and community food organisations across the country – including the Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box initiative.

The Collective has just launched an interactive map to help find community food organisations around New Zealand. Check it out here. See if you can spot Neighbourhood Trust!

Light Party 2020

Light Party
For a number of years Halloween has been gaining momentum in New Zealand.
We at the Neighbourhood Trust and St Albans Baptist Church, want to see families enjoying themselves and spending quality time together, but instead by celebrating life, wellbeing and diversity, rather than Halloween traditions. So we put on an alternative event each year on the 31st October – the Light Party!
This counter-cultural event provides a safe environment for the whole family to have fun together.
There’s lots of entertainment, including:
  • Inflatable playground
  • Farm animal petting zoo
  • Face painting
  • Crafts
  • Games
  • Pre-schoolers playroom
  • Black light disco
  • Kids’ entertainers
  • Live music
  • Immersive power point display
  • Free sausage sizzle
  • Free kai
  • Coffee cart
The Light Party is a great opportunity for families to laugh together, eat together, and enjoy doing something that is all about celebrating life and joy in our community.
This year our theme is ‘Noah’s Ark’, so come along dressed as your favourite animal!
Contact if you have any enquiries.

The Best ‘You’ That You Can Be Workshops

Be the best you that you can be

Wednesdays, 12:00pm – 2:00pm (14 October – 2 December).

Sessions focused on building our strength, positivity, resilience and hope so that we can inspire and positively impact our whanau and those around us.

Bring your lunch so we can eat and get to know each other from 12:00pm, with sessions starting at 12.30pm.

Gold Coin donation. Tea and coffee supplied.

14 Oct
Who Am I?
Understanding myself, what is important and knowing my worth.
21 Oct
Emotional Wellbeing
Filling our tanks and nurturing our emotional vulnerability.
28 Oct
Building Strengths
What are my strengths and using them to understand myself.
4 Nov
Better Than ‘All Right’
Flourishing as well as surviving.
11 Nov
How Are You ‘Really’?
Trusting enough to be vulnerable. It is OK to need support.
18 Nov
Grief Journey
Understanding our own grief experiences.
25 Nov
Where are you heading?
Focus, aim and get started.
2 Dec
Self-Care Made Fun
Getting rid of the guilt and nourishing ourselves.

“The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change; So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger but in wisdom, understanding and love.”

Spaces limited.

Contact Dawn on 027 710 0022 or for more information or to register.

Whānau Snackbox Workshops

The Whanau Centre

Fridays, 10:00am – 12:00pm (16 October – 4 December 2020).

‘Bite-sized’ sessions covering skills to assist you to be an effective member of your whanau. 

Whether you are a parent or grandparent; in a single parent, blended or traditional whanau; you can explore these topics with others, whilst having fun, building relationships, skills and confidence.

Gold coin donation. Tea and coffee supplied.

16 Oct
Whānau Values and Aspirations
23 Oct
Building on Strengths
30 Oct
Creating Emotional Safety
6 Nov
Talking about Big Feelings
20 Nov
Seeing through the Eyes of our Mokopuna
27 Nov
Parenting During Uncertainty and Change
4 Dec
Having Fun with your Whānau

Spaces limited.

Contact Dawn on 027 710 0022 or for more information or to register.

Preparing for Retirement Seminar

A breakfast seminar with Peter Gaulter.
How to prepare to enjoy a flourishing life past 65.
This will be a fully rounded look at retirement, starting with building a life plan and looking into all the relevant topics.
All are welcome.
When: 8:30 AM – 11 AM, Saturday, October 10, 2020 
Where: 64 McFaddens Rd, St Albans, Christchurch 8052
Cost: $10
To register: Please email Murdo 
Preparing for retirement seminar