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Giving back to a good bunch: Daffodil Day

When she was diagnosed with renal cancer, Christchurch woman Angie Milner’s immediate thoughts were making sure she supported her family. The Cancer Society made sure she was supported, too.



Not many people expect a cancer diagnosis. And especially not Angie, who had no risk factors when told she had a form of kidney cancer in 2018.

“I just didn’t know what to do or where to go,” says the mother of four.

Having lived in Bankside, between Rakaia and Dunsandel, for 15-years, she is an active member of the community and a fellow Civil Defence volunteer recommended she pop into the then-new Selwyn Centre, a Cancer Society hub in Rolleston, which runs a support group on the first Monday of every month.

She ventured in with her husband, Ken, “and was met by the most amazing lady called Jackie Claridge,” she says.

“She was just full of life; really bubbly, friendly and welcoming and introduced us to the group. We had a cup of tea and biscuits and talked about nothing in particular and had some laughs.”

The Cancer Society offers support services, advice, information and research funding in its quest to advocate for patients and their whānau. It is not government funded and relies on donations to deliver its services like accommodation, transport and support groups.

Angie says the support she received – like information about and transport to medical procedures, including the one which removed part of her kidney – made all the difference on her cancer journey.

“You can just go there and be yourself – you could cry, laugh or shout and everything would just be accepted.

“When you’re [facing cancer] the world carries on around you, but you become someone different, your perspective changes.

“You tend not to think about yourself, you think about your children and relations and making sure they’re going to be okay, so The Cancer Society is a place you can go and be you – and meet people who have similar things going on in their lives.”

Last year, Angie organised a charity art auction which raised over $7,500 for the organisation and she urges Cantabrians to support its annual Daffodil Day appeal on Friday, August 29 if they can.

This years’ drive may take a different, socially-distanced, format – so check The Cancer Society’s website for ways to help.


Angie Milner and her daughter


The Drive for Good: Archibald Motors

Charity initiative Drive for Good ended in style at Archibald Motors, with three local charities taking home a share of $100,000 at a vibrant celebration in the showrooms on Tuam Street. Seven more charities were gifted equal shares in $50,000. Cantabrians clearly relished the chance to show support for their chosen charity, with more than 21,000 votes cast by the public during the three-month long initiative.



Archibald’s Managing Director John Fairhall was full of praise for the way the organisations had engaged with the initiative. “It has been an honour for us to get to know the ten charities better and see the work they do to make Christchurch a healthy and happy place to live,” he says. With a final tally of 4,512, The Champion Centre was the recipient of the greatest number of votes, earning a staggering $50,000 for the charity. Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust and Ronald McDonald House South Island received second and third place respectively, each receiving $25,000 towards their causes.

Although I was there for the charity event, the well-placed array of Porsche, Jaguar and Range Rovers caught my eye. After all I was sitting next to a Range Rover Sport SVR, with its Yulong White Metallic with Carbon Exterior Kit and Panoramic Sunroof flexing its carbon fibre exterior and stunning 22” 5-split spoke gloss black alloys. It took my attention substantially after formalities had ended. Kudos to you Archibald’s, you are an automotive company with a Cantabrian heart.



Art helps charities: TakeHeART

A love of art and a quest to help charitable organisations succeed in a difficult fundraising environment is the motivation behind the first ever TakeHeART fundraising exhibition.




Christchurch woman Jen Duncan is organising the exhibition to be held at the Great Hall at the Arts Centre from November 30 to December 2; with an official opening night on November 29. Jen says the concept behind TakeHeART was to help 10 organisations raise money through selling art on behalf of the artist. On selling their artwork, the artist will receive 65 percent of the total and the nominated charity will receive 25 percent.

“The artists win, the people win and the charities win, so it’s a great result all round,” Jen says. Charities involved are The Cancer Society, Conductive Education, Upside Downs, Riding for the Disabled, Christchurch School of Music, Cystic Fibrosis Canterbury, Ski NZ, The Champion Centre, Mental Health Foundation and the Arts Centre Trust. “After working with small charities and fundraising groups I can see first-hand how hard it can be so I thought why not combine for one big event, benefiting everyone.”

With previous fundraising and marketing experience, Jens says all of the charities and artists are supportive of the exhibition. Local artists include Svetlana Orinko, Ben Reid, Philip Beadle and others. “It’s a great way for everyone to come together (in a prime central location) and showcase the work that charities do and our talented artists.”


Visit for further information on the event or phone Jen on 021 023 07322.


Sweet Louise

Bargins for a good cause: Sweet Louise

Local radio host and TV personality, Brodie Kane recently became a brand ambassador for Sweet Louise, New Zealand’s only charity solely dedicated to supporting those with incurable breast cancer. After digging into her own wardrobe to donate pre-loved clothing for a local fundraising event this month in honour of a member who passed away, she is urging other locals to support the cause.

Sweet Louise
As one of 600 Sweet Louise members nationally, Cantabrian Caroline Horton had a passion for people, organising social events and beautiful clothes. After being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2016, her goal was to organise a high-quality, second-hand clothing and accessories fundraising event in Christchurch to raise Sweet Louise’s profile. She wanted Cantabrians with incurable breast cancer to know a range of support and services are available.

Sadly, Caroline passed away in January 2017 before her wish was realised. Friends and family joined forces to ensure the first event which took place last year was a great success and are once again honouring her memory with the Caroline Horton Second-hand Clothing and Accessories Sale this month.“I feel really privileged to be part of the Sweet Louise team and help get the message out to those with incurable breast cancer that there is support available locally,” Brodie says.
“Being a fellow Cantabrian, Caroline’s event really struck a chord with me. I think this is a great opportunity to get friends together and grab a bargain whilst supporting a wonderful cause.”

Saturday 11 August, 9:30am-1:30pm Eliza Manor, 82 Bealey Avenue. Tickets $20 include morning tea and can be purchased by emailing or by text 021 116 1376.

Māia Health Foundation

Charitable feast: Māia Health Foundation’s upcoming charity event

Despite the ravages of winter, Christchurch is spoiled for choice when it comes to its city-wide social calendar and there’s certainly something special about it when the events on offer are in aid of a good cause.

Māia Health Foundation

On Saturday 11 August, Māia Health Foundation invites Cantabrians to gather around the table for Feast – an abundant night of local food and wine, grand auction items and world class live entertainment. The charitable foundation’s annual fundraiser is designed to inspire guests to give back and help take Canterbury’s health services from ‘good to great’.

This year it’s all about landing the future-proofed rooftop helipad for good

Last year’s inaugural Feast saw a roomful of 250 generous guests come together, digging deep into their pockets to raise $256,000 on the night – a feat that was five times the Foundation’s initial target of $50,000, reiterating the level of support in the community for the cause. The $256,000 went towards funding beds for parents staying with their sick children in Christchurch Hospital’s new acute services building as well as a future-proofed rooftop helipad.

Māia Health Foundation
This year it’s all about landing the future-proofed rooftop helipad for good. After an incredibly successful $1m crowdfunding campaign in March, Māia is already well over halfway there. The production around this year’s Feast will be the finest yet, in the hopes of rounding off the fundraising for the helipad.
Well-loved television and radio personality, Jason Gunn, will be making his way back to host the evening, livening things up with his effervescent and infectious nature, while Kiwi icon and Māia Ambassador, Bic Runga, returns to the stage for a live performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Food will once again wow guests, with the locals from White Tie Catering creating a fine feast, as they team up with Peter Timbs and MG Marketing who have donated all the meat and fresh produce for the night respectively.
Generous local brewery, Three Boys, and North Canterbury winery, Mt Beautiful Wines, will also be treating guests to their home-grown wine and beer. “We love to support Maia Health because it focuses on the wellbeing of Canterbury, so we’re bringing that to the table this year with a focus on the region,” White Tie Catering’s Katie Duncan says.

Māia Health Foundation



“The food is being sourced locally to support the wellbeing of our community business and, with the best nutritional seasonal profile, the wellbeing of our guests. We’re bringing our precious community vibe to black tie style and it will be brilliant!”The biggest moment of the night will be the Live Auction – where a dozen money-can’t-buy experiences will be auctioned off in the hope that a record-breaking fundraising total will be realised for the charity.

Māia Health Foundation


Tickets are selling incredibly fast, with less than 30 tickets remaining. Tickets are $315 per person / $3,000 for a table of 10. For more information visit

Can Do Catering

Catering with a purpose: Can Do Catering are the social enterprise business you need to hire to do your next work morning tea

Stefan Freuding’s passion for cuisine has taken him to kitchens around the globe. The 32-year-old chef has worked in Europe, Australia and the Middle East – but it’s a little kitchen in Christchurch that has captured his heart. He’s landed the perfect job that combines his flair for food and his love for helping others.

Can Do Catering
Stefan Freuding

Stefan is the head chef at the Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury’s initiative, Can Do Catering. It’s a social enterprise business with a clear goal – to provide ordinary life opportunities for people with traumatic brain injuries and other physical disabilities.
The catering business was set up in 2015 by the Laura Fergusson Trust Canterbury with the aim to give its clients “ordinary life opportunities” and gain meaningful, paid employment. The organisation plays a leading role in providing traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in the South Island, and is dedicated to changing how we see and value people with brain injury and other disabilities.
Stefan, who is from Blaidhach, Germany, jumped at the chance to be part of the catering enterprise where he helps the employees create quality cuisine. “The residents are really inspiring, and it’s amazing to see them thrive and feel pride in their work,” Stefan says.
Seven disabled employees work alongside Stefan to prepare and deliver food for a variety of functions, morning teas and board meetings, for clients including the Christchurch City Council.
Stefan joined Can Do Catering in April 2018 as the Head Chef, bringing 16 years of global cuisine knowledge with him. He started his career in a small, traditional German restaurant, but it was the lure of travel that led him to jump continents, cooking in kitchens in Australia, Dubai and Bermuda.
“When you come from a small town in Germany, it is eye-opening to work in different parts of the world and such a great opportunity to work with top chefs,” he says.
Stefan, who also cooks for the less fortunate through Christchurch City Mission in his spare time, says he was ready for his day job to become more meaningful. He left the hotel industry after working for five years in New Zealand – and he knows he has found the perfect fit.
“At Can Do Catering I help residents to get back into the workforce and see them succeed. It’s inspiring to work with them every day,” Stefan explains.
“I had one resident who started off very shy, but after showing him a few recipes in the kitchen and getting him to help with chopping and peeling, he can’t wait to come back to work.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come to work every day knowing you’re making a difference in someone’s life.”
For more information, visit or

philanthropic endeavours

Charity starts in the city: Metropol’s guide to some of the many amazing philanthropic endeavours to watch out for in the near future

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.

philanthropic endeavours

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.

A charitable exhibitionist
Ira Mitchell-Kirk’s My Heartland exhibition is a collection of landscapes which are dear to her heart, each having a significant meaning to her life journey, from the high country of Glenorchy and Queenstown where she grew up, to Christchurch which has been her home for the past 20 years. Aviva – Family Violence Services will be the recipient of a percentage of the profits from the show.

Exhibition opening 6 August
Pumanawa Gallery the Arts Centre

Bachelor bidding
After searching high and low, PriMortal has discovered Christchurch’s best looking, well-versed and multi-talented men. Most importantly these men are single! They’ve put their boyish reservations aside for the good of a greater cause, raising money for the Base. How is PriMortal going to achieve this; by auctioning off dates with their bachelors to the highest bidders on the floor! Each bachelor is paired with a unique date package at a local café/restaurant.

Sunday 17 June
Halo Bar and Lounge

The Bingo Babes
Christchurch Riding for the Disabled is fundraising for a new therapy pony, so ‘Ethel & Bethel Bingo Babes’ are hosting a Comedy night of bingo, raffles, auctions and games.
Invite your adult family and friends and join these babes for a night of fun and hilarity! There will be a bar running all night with supper provided for gold coin donation by Little Sister Café.
Tickets are only $20 – this includes one free bingo card. Please bring lots of extra cash for games, raffles and extra cards.

Saturday 23 June
Canterbury Caledonian Society

A charitable read
The Community Focus Trust is holding its annual Bookarama fundraising event. For attendees, this means browsing the collection of books, jigsaws, games and more, with proceeds raising funds for the group’s community projects. A kids’ corner will keep littlies entertained while you browse, while the café will be serving food and hot drinks.

Friday 20 July to Saturday 21 July
Empower Church, 140 Springfield Road
Contact Mark 027 9157789 or email

A famine fundraiser
Cashmere students are playing host to some family fun, in aid of helping South Sudanese refugees stranded in camps in Uganda! The World Vision 40 Hour Famine fair will feature a bouncy castle, face-painting, food stalls, games, a prize wheel, second hand stalls and much, much more. The Humanity Council of Cashmere High School’s goal is to raise $10,000 for South Sudanese refugees.

Saturday 9 June
Cashmere High School,
172 Rose Street

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

High tea temptations: stick your pinkies out for the Pink Ribbon high teas at The George

The new Executive Chef of The George, Antony Page, recently filled us in on the new 50 Bistro winter menu heading our way, when the discussion moved to a charity function that runs close to Metropol’s heart – the Pink Ribbon Breakfast, supporting the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ.

Pink Ribbon High Tea at The george

The George is getting behind this very worthy cause by throwing a Pink Ribbon High Tea until 15 June. Now you’ll be able to have the opportunity to enjoy something as decadent and delicious as a high tea at The George, while supporting research into breast cancer, with the goal of getting zero deaths from the disease.
You can start your High Tea with a Nautilus Rosé, or tea and coffee. Culinary options on offer include chicken, cranberry and brie sandwiches, carpaccio of beef and horseradish, and smoked salmon and herb cream cheese rolls. Or perhaps you’ll be tempted by the sweet treats like raspberry macaroons, strawberry custard tart or cherry chocolate brownie.
The choices on the menu are extensive yet, with one of Canterbury’s top chefs, Kelly Te Mete, behind the menu design, how could it possibly be anything but stunning? Why not get your BFFs together and make a date from mid-morning till late afternoon by calling The George to book your table?
Any time is a good time for that convivial catch up with the ladies over high tea when you can join with the George in supporting the wonderful endeavour that is the Pink Ribbon Breakfast.

Kenneth F. Weaver

For the benefit of others: Kenneth F. Weaver is the amazing man who has been providing Christchurch pensioner’s low-cost housing for 45 years

When Kenneth F. Weaver first started providing low-cost pensioner housing in Christchurch 45 years ago, he was amassing joy. Daughter Karen and son Craig talk of how thankful and contented their dad has made many older Cantabrians.

Kenneth F. Weaver
Kenneth F. Weaver

Prospective tenants of their one and two-bed units are eligible if they’re over 60, have less than $25,000 to call on and experience genuine housing need. Once there, they can relax, knowing their comfortable accommodation is secure for life. Often such peace would have been impossible to find. Generally tenants leave only if they require rest-home care.
Now numbering 29 units, and in locations including Abberley Crescent, Barbadoes Street, Hills Road and Trist Place, the Kenneth F. Weaver Trust Inc. homes all boast heat pumps, good insulation and tidy garden surrounds. There’s a tenant waiting list for when a unit becomes vacant. The accommodation is now managed and maintained by the next generation of the Weaver family.

Kenneth F. Weaver

It’s obvious that Kenneth F, now 83, had great foresight in establishing such housing, as the need for it has always remained steady. His charitable work was celebrated in 2005, when he received the Queen’s Service Medal for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Find out more by visiting

Harcourts Cancer Society Ball

Harcourts Cancer Society: a big hearted ball

Kicking up your heels takes on a very special meaning at the annual Harcourts Cancer Society Ball. One of the most exciting and prestigious events on the city’s social calendar, it has consecutively broken fundraising records for the past three years, with $208,000 raised last year to support the charity which supports Cantabrians living with cancer.

Harcourts Cancer Society Ball
Photo credit Nayhauss

Horncastle Arena is the major host of this year’s event, which is being held on Saturday June 23. Although currently resting a broken ankle, one of New Zealand’s favourite broadcasters and television personalities, Hilary Barry, will be there to MC the event – cast or no cast!
For its 2018 incarnation, the Cancer Society Ball is turning up the noise on the dancefloor. Sweet Mix Kids – which has toured with Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, and even played at Coachella for the last few years – will be on hand, along with much loved locals The Eastern, and Simon Kong and Byllie-Jean.
But the piece de resistance of the eve will be the Harcourts Live Auction and this year a new selection of money-can’t-buy experiences will be on the table, including Singapore Airlines business class flights for two to anywhere in the world.
Meanwhile, Vbase chef Dan Shanks will be pulling out all the culinary stops with a brand new three course gourmet dining experience, alongside an elegant and sophisticated late-night Chivas Regal Whisky Lounge, Noble and Savage Tea Retreat and Coffee Supreme Station.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit