Presenting your 2019 Westfield Local Heroes
We are excited to announce your three 2019 successful Westfield Local Heroes for Riccarton.
These inspiring local leaders were nominated and voted for by the community and will now be awarded a $10,000 grant for each of their affiliated organisations to help their important work to grow.
Westfield Local Heroes is a community recognition and grants program, connecting and enriching local communities. Launched in 2018, the program spans our 40 trade areas across Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, we are awarding $1.2 million to 120 local organisations.
In February 2020, we will open nominations for the 2020 Westfield Local Heroes program, so start thinking about those people in your communities who make a difference
Your three Westfield Riccarton Local Heroes are:
Passionate . Uplifting . Brilliant
For many LGBTI+ youths, group sessions at Qtopia are the only time they can be themselves. Led by Executive Director Alice Andersen, Qtopia offers young people a safe and welcoming place to meet. The Christchurch-based non-profit holds separate support groups for children under 12, teenagers and those over 18, as well as for parents and carers. It has 500 active members, with 75 new members joining so far in 2019. “The need for what we do and the support we provide is growing. Qtopia is a vital lifeline for the LGBTI+ community,” says Alice.
Ahead of Wear it Purple Day on August 30, we interviewed Alice Andersen about growing up in the LGBTIQA+ community and why awareness days like this are so important. Find out more >
From One Mother to Another
Determined . Selfless . Kind
After experiencing fear and stress when her daughter was rushed to hospital, Christina Buckland set out to help other parents through the same experience. She co-founded One Mother to Another (OMTA), a charitable trust that provides gift packs to mothers and carers of acutely sick children in hospital. The packs contain practical items such as tea and coffee, shampoo and lip balm and luxuries such as hand cream as well as a hand-written note. “We know what a gift bag full of practical, indulgent items and a letter of encouragement would have meant to us during such a vulnerable time,” says Christina.
Wise . Compassionate . Benevolent
Jan Murphy has devoted her working life to ensuring children with disabilities can achieve more than anyone thought possible. In her 40 years with the world-renowned Champion Centre, she has been instrumental in developing successful early intervention programs that have supported more than 2000 children and their families/whanau. The Centre works with families to unlock the potential in children with complex disabilities such as Down syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyspraxia and Global Developmental Delay. “We see a positive impact on the lives of those we work with every day. Parents reflect that they feel better able to help their children develop and learn,” says Jan.
Recognising all our 2019 nominees
We congratulate all of our finalists and nominees and recognise the important contribution they make to the local community.
View all of the finalists, nominees and their organisations
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