Linking up to support whānau in Selwyn

Community groups in Selwyn have joined together, showing manaakitanga by supporting families impacted by COVID-19.

Volunteers with food packagesBirthright Canterbury, Ministry of Social Development, SKIP, Student Volunteer Army and the Selwyn District Council have all come together to support the grassroots community effort.

“Collaborating has enabled us to provide relevant support to vulnerable families in the district, over and above what we could have achieved individually,” says Birthright Canterbury Selwyn Community Facilitator Lynette MacDonald.

Tailored support for whānau

Support is tailored to the needs of each family. While one family might need essential supplies such as food or nappies, another might need help with childcare or pastoral support.

“We’re also introducing families to cheaper options for their grocery shop,” Lynette says.

Working together with the Student Volunteer Army has been key to the success of the mahi.

Students deliver the groceries and supplies to families in Selwyn’s isolated rural areas. They have waived their usual delivery fee, which means the savings can go straight to families.

Food packages

Volunteers with food packagesShout out to the volunteers

A champion from the local migrant community, who benefited from the support, has given a big shout out to the volunteers and organisations behind the effort.

“On behalf of the group, I want to thank you all. We are forever grateful for the love and support.”

Lynette says the strengthened links between NGOs and government organisations will have benefits for their community beyond COVID-19. She says manaakitanga was championed and reciprocal relationships were fostered.

The mahi is made possible thanks to a grant from MSD’s Community Awaredness and Preparedness fund.