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Meet Margaret Malzard - Westfield Local Heroes 2021

Preparing children for school

Christchurch Early Intervention Trust
Intuitive. Understated. Awe-inspiring

Margaret Malzard has devoted the past 30 years to helping children with complex needs reach their full potential through her work with the Christchurch Early Intervention Trust.

Margaret is a teacher who jumped at the chance to work for the trust’s The Champion Centre, a multi-disciplinary early intervention program for infants and young children with significant disabilities and developmental challenges.

She was inspired by the centre’s focus on what the children can do, not what they can’t do.

As the centre’s Senior Early Intervention Educator, Margaret guides a team of passionate and caring early intervention specialists who teach the children routines and skills and support them as they transition to their chosen school.

She is widely admired for her super-power ability to identify and champion each child's strengths, potential, and uniqueness. She refused to let COVID-19 interrupt the program and used technology to continue book readings, music and movement sessions and one-on-one teaching.

Margaret’s greatest rewards are seeing the children being embraced by their community and receiving positive updates from parents many years later.

She is humbled to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “I feel truly blessed to be appointed by my colleagues, who are all my heroes, to be a voice for our youngest, most vulnerable New Zealanders,” Margaret says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The Christchurch Early Intervention Trust will use its funds to maintain its transition-to-school program

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here