Meet your Westfield Local Hero Finalists
In the first year of the Westfield Local Heroes program, we have received an overwhelming response and many heart-warming stories after asking the North Shore community to nominate individuals who they believe promote social wellbeing and harmony in their communities.
We congratulate every one of our nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
The community has now cast its vote, the outcome of which will determine the three successful 2018 Westfield Local Heroes for Westfield Albany. Each of their affiliated organisations will be awarded a $10,000 grant to support their work, program or activities.
The successful Westfield Local Heroes will be announced on 13 August.
Your six finalists for Westfield Albany are:
Nicola Cronin: Bellyful New Zealand Trust North Shore Branch
Level-Headed. Energetic. Kind-Hearted.
Nicola is a coordinator for the North Shore branch of Bellyful NZ, where she volunteers her time to cook and deliver free meals to families who are struggling and do not have a good support network. She is responsible for coordinating her team of 42 volunteers - either cooking, delivering to families, or fundraising in the community and runs cookathons every 6 weeks. The $10,000 grant would assist covering cost of ingredients for cooking meals, printing costs for brochures to increase awareness, and a new freezer for the team.
Ursula Elisara: Immerse Charitable Trust
Passion. Integrity. Vision.
Ursula is an experienced foster caregiver who aims to transform the culture of foster care in New Zealand by educating, upskilling, inspiring and supporting caregivers and professionals to better understand and meet the needs of children who have experienced abuse, neglect and other traumatic events. Ursula co-founded Immerse and works as the CEO overseeing the work as well as running information sessions for those wanting to foster a child. The funding would help to expand therapeutic work with children in foster care and support for the families that care for them.
Shoko Maeda: Harbour Sports
Intelligent. Dedicated. Energetic.
Shoko works to promote wellbeing, harmony and social inclusion through the practice of sports and recreational activities across all ages, genders, abilities and ethnicities. Through Harbour Sports, Shoko organises retirement village exercise, early childhood fundamental movement skills, Walk with us Albany, Summer and Winter fun, water and bike safety programs and walking groups. The $10,000 grant would enable Shoko to continue her work in the community, and would help to establish an internship programme for international students.
Kathryn McMahon: Age Concern North Shore
Generous. Dedicated. Sensitive.
Kathryn co-ordinates a volunteer visiting service for isolated older people in the region to help develop morale, connectivity and inclusion. She recruits, screens and trains volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to match up with a lonely older person to visit both in their homes, at local malls for those who would rather meet in public and organises reading to visually impaired and frailer older people in Rest Home settings. The $10,000 grant would assist in growing Age Concern North Shore’s reach to support at least 50 more vulnerable older people directly.
Ashleigh Phipps: Conscious Kids
Selfless. Dedicated. Positive.
Ashleigh works with Conscious Kids to deliver quality, inclusive, child-led outdoor educational opportunities that are a 100% nature based experience that gets Kiwi kids outside. Ashleigh delivers inclusive outdoor experiences that encourage social competence, self-confidence, problem solving abilities and sensitivity to the environment. The grant would be spent on advancing Ashleigh’s mission to advance employment opportunities for youth by expanding the organisation's non-traditional educational pathways, and would contribute contributing to funding a position to create a youth training and development programme within Conscious Kids.
Annette Wilson: North Shore Riding for the Disabled Incorporated
Generous. Dilligent. Compassionate.
Annette runs North Shore Group Riding for the disabled, where children and adults with varying physical, intellectual and social disabilities have the opportunity to connect with horses. This interaction allows them to develop confidence and independence, and will often result in strong emotional connections forming with the horses that are difficult, or impossible, to achieve with their family or peers. The $10,000 grant would contribute to more horses and their care - horses of the ideal temperament, age and size are extremely difficult to find and are often expensive.