Hawke’s Bay Foundation Supports Charities Facing Myriad of Issues

  • Family Works Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay Foundation funding is helping the charitable sector address growing concerns over staff retention amidst a flurry of burgeoning post cyclone challenges.

Meeting face-to-face with 44 charities earlier this month, Hawke’s Bay Foundation’s annual Round Table sessions turned the spotlight on a number of emerging themes within the sector in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle. It also highlighted the determination and resolve of Hawke’s Bay’s charitable sector to keep serving the community regardless of adversity.

Through its community investment model, Hawke’s Bay Foundation sustains local charitable organisations with long-term sustainable funding. Since its inception in 2012, it’s gifted well over $3.09M to more than 352 charities. As its endowment fund grows, so to does the Foundation’s ability to make larger distributions.

Already in the grips of a cost-of-living crisis and issues around pay equity, the affects of the cyclone on Hawke’s Bay have only served to exacerbate ballooning demands on mental health, family violence services, food security, healthcare accessibility, advocacy and more. Organisations are now seeing a new group of people seeking support who have never needed to access assistance before.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation Distributions Chair Sarah Mulcahy says the near quarter of a million dollars distributed last year has been well utilised.

“Building resilience in the workforce of our charitable sector is absolutely critical to their sustainablity and ability to provide key services to our communities in need.”

“From helping fund a wide range of initiatives from suicide prevention programmes to food programmes, arts invigoration, and environmental remediation, Hawke’s Bay Foundation is having tangible impact.”

Child and family care provider Birthright Hawke’s Bay has been supporting locals since 1955. Chief Executive Officer Fiona Parrant says the need for their services has never been greater.

“We have a skilled team of amazing social workers and early childhood teachers but pay equity is becoming the elephant in the room. NGO’s cannot compete with the rates Oranga Tamariki can pay their social workers.”

“The funding we get from Hawke’s Bay Foundation allows our social worker team to receive clinical external supervision, this ensures they can debrief and discuss complex clinical situations. It helps build resilience and is essential for our social workers to have this debrief.

“As the recovery phase goes on, looking after our team and making sure that they themselves are okay is pivotal. Since the cyclone we have seen a 30 percent increase across all our social services; and expecting that to increase as the impact for some is only starting to become a reality.”

Family Works Service Manager, Carlotta Bauer-Edwards agrees recruiting and retaining staff is an ongoing challenge.

“To ensure that our staff are satisfied and motivated, it is essential that they receive adequate support. Hawke’s Bay Foundation continues to play this role through funding supervision for our social workers and counsellors.

 “Working in the community can be difficult, often you are dealing with people’s trauma, anxiety, and grief. A big focus is on staff wellbeing, making sure our team feels supported and passionate about their work and ready to give it their best to create and maintain positive change.”

“If it was not for funders like Hawke’s Bay Foundation, we would not be able to help give children and families the support they need. School attendance, antisocial behaviour, cultural or community isolation, distress, grief, trauma, and relationship challenges are examples of these needs. Hawke’s Bay Foundation supports us to find the nuggets of potential in each child and family.”

Since the cyclone, 30 percent of the women accessing counselling support from funding recipients Heretaunga Women’s Centre are seeking support for family violence or relationship issues.

“The cyclone has caused stress and pressure for many who were already struggling to manage their emotions and behaviour.  For many, the cyclone has been the tipping point and women who were coping are now not coping. Additionally financial stress including the stress around the cost of living are additional factors that we see are causing an increase in those seeking support for family violence.”

 “We know that the emotional impacts for those women affected by the cyclone will continue to emerge as time goes on, and one of our biggest concerns will be the ability to meet demand on our services.  Only time will tell how great that demand will be.”

Sarah Mulcahy implores anyone who lives here, to give here.

“The need for funders like us is only going to grow as societal issues become more complex, and it’s becoming incumbent on those who can, to give back to their community via funders with robust mechanisms and deep community roots, like Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

“The days of relying on outside sources to prop up the provinces are over, it’s up to each one of us to look after our own backyard. Future generations will depend on it.”