Making “all the difference” to families

The Christchurch Methodist Mission’s Family Support Fund has a long history of ensuring tamariki gain equal access to opportunities regardless of financial hardship. The Fund has largely been supported by two Methodist organizations over the years since it was first established.

The Family Support Fund can be accessed by CMM kaimahi on behalf of clients for a range of approved purposes and in instances where other support options are not present. Applications to the Fund include contributions towards the cost of school camps and holiday programmes, extracurricular activities like dance or swimming lessons, as well as for more everyday items like petrol and bills.

“The Family Support Fund is all about ensuring that children who cannot access activities and experiences gain access to those things,” says Community Development Manager Andrea Wilson-Tukaki. “Participation not only means they can fit in, but also enables them to experience things that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. It allows children to transfer their skills to different areas and develop.”

“I love it when I get an application for something like gymnastics lessons and the other extracurricular activities that are beyond the reach of many now. More and more we’re seeing that it’s not just people on benefits who are accessing the Fund, but also households with two incomes that still can’t afford extracurricular activities for their kids.”

CMM kaimahi see the difference made in the lives of tamariki and their whānau every day. Participation in karate, gymnastics and swimming lessons bring huge enrichment to children’s lives, while a recent application to the Fund for a car seat “made all the difference to that family.”

“It’s wonderful to be able to access this Fund because when you’re working with clients you can address their specific needs. The Fund doesn’t come with any prerequisites or conditions. We rarely turn down a request,” says Wilson-Tukaki.