Presenting your 2022 Westfield Local Hero
We are excited to announce your 2022 successful Westfield Local Hero for Manukau City.
The successful Westfield Local Heroes organisation, will receive a grant of $20,000 to help them continue to grow their impact in the local community. Westfield will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million.
In early 2023, we will open nominations for the 2023 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference.
Your 2022 Westfield Manukau City Local Hero is:
Papakura Music School
Inclusive. Selfless. Resourceful
Brenda Spicer has been a volunteer, committee member and President at Papakura Music School for several years, where she is a role model for the community with her generous dedication to the children.
Papakura Music School is a parent-run Saturday school for primary and intermediate aged children. Not only does Brenda lead the school every weekend, but she also spends many hours during the week fundraising, seeking performance opportunities and arranging creative experiences and activities for students, families and tutors.
Brenda became involved when she enrolled her daughter seven years ago and soon gained a reputation as someone who makes things happen.
Brenda can't bear to see people being left out of opportunities and has been a driving force behind efforts to encourage children from lower-decile schools to attend the school. Her initiatives include scholarships, part payments and loan instruments. “We have reduced as many barriers as we can.
For example, we had a storeroom full of instruments that needed to be played,” Brenda says.
Part of the joy for Brenda is introducing children to instruments for the first time. “We show them a clarinet or a saxophone. They hear what a flute sounds like, and their eyes light up. We give them opportunities. Many parents, like myself, could never afford private lessons.”
Papakura will fund scholarships and invest in updated sheet music, new instruments, and a PA system.
We also congratulate our finalists who will receive a $5,000 grant for the organisation they represent, and we thank them for their incredible contribution to the local community.
Shari Lett from Raise Up
Youth Coordinator Shari Lett is on a mission to help young people develop skills and connections that help them transition into thriving adults. Through her work on the YMCA Raise Up program, Shari helps rangatahi feel a sense of community, overcome barriers and improve their mental health.
Steve Webb from WanderSearch Auckland
WanderSearch Auckland volunteer Steve Webb helps give people with cognitive impairment the freedom to move around in public. WanderSearch is a small charity that provides wearable tracking devices to people at risk of going missing. Steve enthusiastically maintains clients’ devices so they can be found if they wander off.
If you need support, please phone Lifeline: 0800 543 354.