Announcing your 2023 Westfield Local Hero
We are excited to announce Caitlin Marett from Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Zealand Trust as your 2023 Westfield Local Hero for Riccarton! Westfield is proud to award a community grant of $20K to help Caitlin and Make-A-Wish to continue to grow their impact in the local community
The 2023 Westfield Local Heroes program will award 126 grants across Australia and New Zealand – totalling $1.26 million to support local communities.
Nominations for the 2024 Westfield Local Heroes program open 10 October. If you know someone who's making an impact, nominate them as a Westfield Local Hero - nominate here.
Your 2023 Westfield Riccarton Local Hero is:
Empathetic. Enthusiastic. Generous.
Photograph by Alister Winter.
Generous Caitlin Marett thrives on bringing laughter and unforgettable memories to Christchurch children and teens living with a critical illness.
Caitlin volunteers with Make-A-Wish Foundation), where she visits young recipients in their homes to help them decide on a wish.
With her kind and empathetic nature, Caitlin has a natural ability to engage with children and parents during a highly stressful time. She feels privileged to get to know the children, and makes the process of choosing a wish as positive and fun as possible. This gives the child and everyone around them a welcome distraction.
Caitlin visits the child as often as is necessary to choose their unique wish, and consistently communicates with the whānau in the build-up to the big wish delivery day. To keep up the excitement, the Foundation sends anticipation activities to the child designed to build excitement and aid physical and emotional healing.
Although her work can be emotionally draining, the look on a child's face when they receive their wish gives Caitlin strength. She also feels well supported by the Foundation team.
Caitlin is thrilled to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “Helping these children gives me a lot of joy,” she says.
Make-A-Wish Foundation will use its grant to deliver unique wishes to Christchurch children and teens.
We'd like to thank and acknowledge our finalists who will receive a $5K grant for the organisation they represent...
Kotte Aguilar from Being - Yoga and wellness
Kotte Aguilar is helping local youth gain confidence and independence and inner trust teaching them tools they can use at any given time. Kotte is the founder of Being – Yoga and Wellness. One of Kotte’s standout projects is her trauma-informed classes for youth. Many participants are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence or bullying.
Louisa Stewart from Clothed in Love
Clothed in Love co-founder Louisa Stewart is an innovative community connector, bringing families all over Christchurch together to provide clothing packs to more than 4,000 Christchurch children. Louisa is proud that our packs enhance children’s self-esteem while providing a sense of belonging, warmth, and overall wellbeing to her community.
If you need support, please phone Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543 354