OSCAR whanau keeps in touch by letter writing

Our OSCAR programme team really missed hanging out with their kids over the lockdown period. So they decided to continue communicating with the OSCAR families throughout this time via email, Facebook, texting and even hand written letters.

“We have been asking how they are, which has meant a lot to some of our families who are maybe single parent families, as this time can be quite stressful,” says Chelsea, who works at the OSCAR programme.

Chelsea, Amber and Roana spent some of their isolation time writing letters to the regular attendees of the before, after school and holiday programmes, and they were delighted to receive letters back from the children too.

“I have had feedback from some of the parents that the kids were over the moon to hear from us, as they miss us and being at the programme,” says Chelsea. “A few of the children have written back to us letting us know what they have been up to while in the lockdown. Some have been playing board games, some reading old comics, but a common occurrence being a lot of family bike rides!”

Thank you to our OSCAR team for continuing to care and support our community whanau, and overcoming communication challenges with creative solutions!

NHT Kai Box deliveries during lockdown

Neighbourhood Trust Kai Box

We have had lots of lovely thank you messages, including this one from last week –

“Good afternoon Neighbourhood Trust Management and Team,

I would love to thank you for the wonderful box of vegetables and fruit that was delivered to my whanau bubble this week.

Appreciate the generous donation and bless you all in the trust for your fantastic work in the St Albans Community.”

The NHT get referrals for kai boxes from our community, those involved in our programmes, and church families. We have partnered with Te Puawaitanga, who are a kaupapa Maori NGO, to make this special service possible.

You can order a kai box for someone you know, or for yourself, by emailing Murdo at kai@nht.org.nz.


Golden Connections Stay Connected During Lockdown

Golden Connections Coordinator

While a lot people have enjoyed spending more time with their families in their lockdown bubble, many people living alone, especially the elderly, have had to endure over a month of no, or limited, social contact.

We are proud of our Neighbourhood Trust Golden Connections team, led by Kim Strange, who have put a lot of time and effort into supporting our Golden members during this often lonely time.

Kim and her team of volunteers have been frequently phoning each of ‘the Goldens’ to have a chat, check up on them, and find out whether there are any needs that could be met by the Neighbourhood Trust.

“For a lot of our people, it just means so much that we would take the time to call and talk to them,” says Kim, “Some of our members don’t have family in Christchurch, or any family at all, so for those people we have been picking up and dropping off their groceries, or delivering a Neighbourhood Trust fresh produce Kai Box. One of our volunteers has even been taking one of our members to and from the hospital for appointments. The feedback we’ve had is that ‘it’s nice to know that people care about us, and that we’re not alone’.”

Thank you to our Golden Connections team and supporters for building friendships and shining the love of Jesus into the lives of some of our most vulnerable community members.

Also a big thank you to our SABC church whanau who have been donating to NHT – because of your generosity we’ve been able to bless many people with fresh fruit and vegetable parcels.

NHT Support North West Christchurch Community During Lockdown

What did level 4 lockdown look like for the Neighbourhood Trust?

We have been extra busy during the COVID-19 crisis! Because we have a foodbank we are considered an essential service, so we have been able to show our concern and care for our community during lockdown. We have delivered over 70 boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables to families and individuals in the community.

Our team has prioritised looking after our Golden Connections (seniors) first, as many are not allowed to leave their homes and some do not have families to bring them what they need. We have also partnered with the Kaupapa Maori health provider, Te Puawaitanga, to identify families in need and take food to them.

Our fantastic Golden Connections co-ordinator, Kim Strange, has been busy phoning our older folk and volunteers to set up a “keeping in touch” system which helps reduce the loneliness and isolation. Many of our Golden Connection whanau will have enjoyed receiving a hand written card in the mail from Roana.

We are very appreciative of the Sanderson whanau giving up their kitchen table so Ange can keep the finance and admin wheels of the Trust turning smoothly.

Don is keeping in touch with his Kiwi Dads mostly by text, and we have taken them some kai as well.

Don has also been doing his TASTE – Together-Apart Story Time Event series on Facebook, which is fun and always has a nice message.

A big thankyou to our NHT team, awesome staff and volunteers serving, even when we are locked down.