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The charitable social calendar

The charitable social calendar: local events with a community or charitable trust

We share our city with some incredible people who put heart, mind and soul into the support of philanthropic endeavours, so much so that we couldn’t possibly hope to list them all.

The charitable social calendar

What we can do however, is list some of the upcoming events on the local social calendar which have been formed to support the vital charitable services that are at the heart of a strong community. We hope you enjoy.

Battle of the artists

Art Battle is live, competitive painting where 12 of Christchurch’s top artists have just 20 minutes to paint a canvas. The audience votes for the winner and all artworks are available by silent auction on the night.
But what is perhaps the most exciting aspect of this endeavour, is that it supports the charity ‘Just Peoples’ which was set up to connect Kiwis with the means and desire to join the fight against global poverty with small, locally led micro-projects across Asia and Africa.
Sunday 6 May from 5:30-9:30pm
Sixty6 on the corner Peterborough and Durham Streets
For tickets visit www.eventbrite.co.nz

Philanthropic fare

It’s an iconic mystery dining experience and it’s all in support of Ronald McDonald House. Arrive with your guests at the pre-dinner function and enjoy a glass of champagne and canapes. This is where excitement builds with a live auction, before you find out where you will be dining for the night with a live mystery dining draw.
From exclusive local restaurants to private chefs at unique dining destinations, Supper Club Christchurch is sure to impress your dinner guests.
Friday 15 June from 5:30pm until late
Pre-dinner location to be revealed soon, mystery dinner location announced on the night
For bookings contact Robyn Medlicott on 027 225 5221 or robyn@rmhsi.org.nz

A charitable cook

Life Education Trust Canterbury is very lucky to have the opportunity to host a fundraising event alongside Annabel Langbein.
Ticket proceeds will go directly to Life Education Trust Canterbury, enabling this talented team to continue delivering health educational lessons to 20,000 primary and intermediate school children in Canterbury each year.
During this exclusive event the second volume Essentials cookbook will be launched and Annabel will share stories from her free-range life as well as top tips and tricks to help you become a more confident and creative cook.
Monday 7 May from 6:30-8:30pm
St Margaret’s College, Charles Luney Auditorium
Tickets are available on www.eventfinda.co.nz

Wham Bam Author Jam

We have a lot of talented authors in this beautiful country of ours, and Addington Raceway wanted to create a place for the public to meet them and perhaps find their next favourite!
The event will feature local authors and even some from further afield, with ticket and raffle proceeds supporting the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. So, grab the family, grab your friends and head to Wham Bam Author Jam!
Saturday 24 November, 10am-4pm
Addington Raceway 75 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington
Tickets are available on www.eventfinda.co.nz

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: on getting teary-eyed at the M Factor Events for Ronald McDonald fashion show

Tears may not be what you’d expect from one of the city’s most covetable fashion shows. But when the benefactor of the event is a worthy charitable cause such as Ronald McDonald House South Island, which has supported the likes of Paula and Alex Moore, it’s not surprising there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

When their daughter Grace was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, the Moore family – including Grace’s twin sister Sophie and younger brother Beau – spent 133 nights at Ronald McDonald House.
The annual M Factor Fashion Show is one of the organisation’s primary fundraising drives each year, which enables it to continue the tireless crusade to support families when they need it the most. More than $65,000 was raised for the charity on the night at this year’s event.
It’s an event that organiser Maree Lucas from M Factor Events puts heart and soul into. She was joined on stage for the opening address by her twin nieces. Born prematurely, one with a hole in her heart, they spent time at Starship and her family stayed at Ronald McDonald House to be close to them while they underwent treatment.
It was a special night for a special cause and Metropol would like to personally thank all of the incredible people that supported this event in some way, shape or form.
We look at the charity’s next major fundraiser on page 10. Enjoy.

Mike King

Mike King’s mission: this funny family man has tasked himself with making a serious difference to New Zealand’s youth

Popular New Zealand personality Mike King may have made his name as a comedian, but these day’s you’ll find him delivering a much more serious message. He’s been heading up and down the country – a 4000km journey – on a 50cc scooter for the past five years, addressing youth suicide. We talk to the mental health advocate about his personal mission for this very worthy cause.

Mike King

How big is the youth suicide issue in New Zealand?

How long is a piece of string? The issue of suicide across the board is big and how we’re dealing with it needs addressing. Currently those in crisis have to ring ‘this number’ or see ‘this person’. Everything is aimed at the person in crisis; nothing is aimed at the 65/70 percent of the population who have no problems.
People hold onto problems for so long and they’re only being referred when they’re at critical point. We’re trying to promote the fact that it’s ok to talk about small problems before they become big ones and someone becomes suicidal.

You’ve been making your way around the country on 50cc Suzukis to raise awareness, why is it such an important issue for you to tackle?

In February 2013 I spoke at a small rural school in Northland which had lost five children to suicide. I have discovered through this experience that our young people don’t feel like us old people are listening to them.
So we went around schools listening, listening, listening. We discovered that all kids, regardless of religion or colour, have the same problems and they’re not talking about them; they’re holding onto them until they become overwhelming.
Their inner critics, the little voice second guessing all their decisions, are huge. From there we worked out a strategy – help the inner critic; he’s the cornerstone of 9 out of 10 of the mental health problems. We need to normalise the inner critics by changing society’s attitudes.
Last year we discovered that of those who will have a major mental health problem, 80 percent won’t ask for help. They don’t feel safe. The simplest thing we could do is come up with a signifier of someone safe. We created a simple wristband with ‘I am hope’ on it. This says: I won’t judge, shame, gossip, ask stupid questions, try and fix everything for you; all you’ll get from me is unconditional love and hope, but most importantly, if you want to talk to someone, I am here.

What are some of the key ways New Zealand can start to make some ground in this area?

Parents need to know that all kids are born perfect. The only thing that can screw them up is us. We apply all these rules and only give conditional love – if you do this or that, pass this test, then I’ll love you. We can understand the logic of that, because we’re adults, but kids are thinking there must be something wrong with them if they’re not getting unconditional love.
If there’s five things they do, four are good and one is bad, we focus on the bad, what we think we’re saying is ‘we love you, but you can do better’, but what our kids are getting is ‘no matter what I do I can never be good enough’. How we’re speaking to our children becomes an inner voice.
These become little criticisms that mean nothing in isolation, ‘yes you’re an idiot I asked for a screwdriver you bought be a spoon’. But that’s one hell of an inner critic we’re planting in our kids’ heads.

How does it feel to be in a position where you can play such a positive role in raising awareness of issues such as this?

It’s a privileged position. We have to be very responsible; people are placing a lot of trust on our shoulders. We don’t take or accept government funding; we’re funded by the public of New Zealand. A lot of organisations out there take government money and public money. That’s like having a wife and girlfriend; you have to lie to please both. We only take public donations and apply for grants, so the public will let us know when we’re out of a job; it keeps you honest. It’s a cool position to be in.

American Express Openair Cinema

Events guide: Five things well worth leaving home for

The temperatures may have begun their downward descent, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourselves inside! We’ve gone in search of some of the hottest events around that will be sure to bring some warmth to your autumn.

American Express Openair Cinema
American Express Openair Cinema

Food, fun and flicks:

American Express is bringing the Openair Cinema festival of food, fun and flicks to Rauora Park from 15 March to 1 April.
There will be an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.
Better yet, you can bring along a ‘Doggy Date’! Pampered pooches will receive the VID treatment with a pawfect picnic platter of doggy delights and their own canine couch. Tickets start at $13 and are on-sale now at www.openaircinemas.co.nz.

Jump for charity:

Some of the country’s leading horse and pony riders are getting in behind the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with the second annual Jump for Cancer Hagley charity event at North Hagley Park on 25 March.
St. Margaret’s College students will be collecting donations on behalf of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and food vendors will be selling everything from coffee and gelato to gourmet pizzas and potatoes.
General admission is free with VIP tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.nz. To find out more, head to the Jump for Cancer Hagley Facebook page.

Middle-aged man in lycra!

Following a sell-out premiere season across New Zealand, much-loved Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow remounts for a final ride into Christchurch in the acclaimed one man show, MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), in all its lurid lycra glory for ‘Le Tour d’Isaac’, from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
Shining as the affable, yet uncomfortably relatable anti-hero in the one-man show, Hadlow commands the stage. With his energetic presence and childlike enthusiasm to the character, he breathes life into the cleverly crafted monologues to delight even the most stoic of MAMIL-phobes.

Colourful fun :

All the colour and fun of a carnival is coming to Cathedral Square on Saturday 24 February.
The popular Latino market is heading into the city from 4pm to 8pm on so you can enjoy a delicious culinary collection of Latin street food, live music, art and craft and, of course, the warmth of the local Latin community.
There will also be workshops, a dance floor and performances with Latin rhythms (including capoeira and samba do Brasil). So bring your most colourful clothing – and your dancing shoes – and prepare for a night of colourful fun.

A catwalk crusade:

Designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk on Thursday 12 April wearing the latest New Zealand fashion.
Guests at the annual M Factor Fashion Show will see collections from the likes of Annah Stretton, Augustine, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper and many more to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Held at 7pm on Thursday 12 April at The Transitional Cathedral, tickets are available at ticketmaster.co.nz and are priced at $75 for VIP, $55 for General Admission and $20 for children and students.

Alanna and Pete Chapman

A charitable tipple: how 27Seconds combines a love of wine with a desire to help people

A collaboration between two North Canterbury wineries, a grape harvesting company and several other generous donors is producing wine with a difference and the couple behind the project-turned-wine-label are still reeling from its early success.

Alanna and Pete Chapman
Alanna and Pete Chapman

27Seconds

Alanna and Pete Chapman initially started 27Seconds as a one-off fundraiser for Hagar – an international NGO that helps survivors of modern-day slavery. “We wanted to help so we created delicious wine, where 100 percent of the profits go to survivors,” Alanna says.
“It was only meant to be a one-off fundraiser. But as we sort of delved deeper, it snowballed into a company.”
Terrace Edge, which is owned by Pete’s parents, provided the grapes for 27Seconds’ first run of wine and Omihi Creek Harvesting harvested them for free. Greystone Wines, just up the road from Terrace Edge, did the winemaking, with various others jumping on board to help.
Alanna was working in Hagar’s Christchurch office when she learned that every 27 seconds a person is trafficked into slavery and, while in India, walking through the alleyways of Sonagachi in Calcutta, the country’s largest red-light district, she and Pete witnessed it first-hand.
Alanna and Pete, a viticulturist who works on the family vineyard, realised wine was one way they could help. “We love the idea that something accessible, like wine, can be used for good. It empowers people to make a difference through just a single choice.”
Alanna says the combined generosity of the wine community meant 27Seconds was able to give away $10 from every $17-$23 bottle in the first run of wine. Greystone Wines provided heavily discounted winemaking, Kiwi bottle supplier O-I halved its prices, another company provided free caps and local designer Piet van Leeuwen of Port Edison did the labels pro bono.
“We love our labels. We’re super proud of them. Piet wanted to portray the name itself so that’s why there are 27 dots on the front and there are three dots that you can’t see as well. The idea behind that is once someone has been sold it is sort of like an ending,” Alanna says.
“It’s a really morbid topic but there is hope as well. There are things that can be put in place that reduce trafficking. We wanted it to be a hopeful brand as well so that’s why the colours are quite bright.”
27Seconds’ Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Rosé are available online and there are plans to start selling wholesale to local restaurants.
Three bottles of 27Seconds wine can provide a young survivor with a school uniform, shoes and stationery for a year, five can provide a bike to get to school and seven bottles every month can put a survivor through university.
Interview courtesy of Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism.

The Himalayas

Building hope in the Himalayas: how four people set out to make a difference in Nepal

Just when it seems the world is suffering a surfeit of doom and gloom stories, along comes a story big-hearted enough to illuminate the entire universe. Along comes Project EBC and four fabulous people – Mike Lowden, Bette Chen, Tina Morrell and Fergus Flannery.

The Himalayas
“IF ANYBODY CAN UNDERSTAND THE HARDSHIPS THIS FAMILY HAS ENDURED, IT’S CANTABRIANS.”

Project EBC (Everest Base Camp) was born from the coming together of like-minded individuals whose passion and vision for Everest initiated a two-fold mission: to trek to Everest Base Camp (at an elevation of 5,364 metres) and to help a family from Khumjung Village rebuild their earthquake-damaged home.
The home belongs to Tshering Thundu (Sandu), his wife, Tangii, and their four children. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25, 2015 wrought such havoc that Sandu – a porter and guide for more than 15 years who has summited Everest five times – and his family have had to camp under canvas ever since; not pleasant when winter temperatures can plummet to minus 15.
“If anybody can understand the hardships this family has endured, it’s Cantabrians,” Tina says.
The cost for the materials and freight for the repair of the family home exceed NZD $20,000. Funds raised in excess of building and repair costs will aid in the children’s schooling and any surplus to support the Project EBC team, which will be working on-site in Khumjung for two days alongside local Nepalese tradesmen.
This is ‘trekking with a mission’. With a goal of raising $25,000, Project EBC ran the 2017 Mount Cook Marathon as a team and raised $1,800+; they completed the 2017 CBD Stampede Obstacle Course, and on February 17 hosted a fundraiser gala dinner which raised more than $7,000.
“It may seem only one family’s benefitting,” says Fergus, “but the community will help build the home – the ripple effect from that can’t be measured.”
Tina nods, “A bit like conquering Everest – one step at a time.”
For more information, visit
www.projectebc.com.