Nexia NZ were proud to be supporting Bayleys Plate Up for a Purpose. Amy Murdoch, our CEO, was one of 12 Canterbury CEO’s taking on the challenge of cooking for 180 guests (under the watchful eye of professionals), in order to raise funds for the Christchurch City Mission’s Back to School Programme.
We believe supporting a child’s education is the best way to help break the cycle of poverty. Without initiatives like Bayleys Plate Up for a Purpose, more and more Canterbury children will become a statistic, missing school or turning up without the tools they need to succeed.
Families that are struggling and barely have enough money for the basics find that the cost of fitting out a child for school overwhelming. Uniforms, stationery, class trips, shoes etc. can cost over $1,000. This is significant for many families, but for some, this is impossible. We all know how tough school can be for kids, to turn up without the essentials can result in them feeling humiliated, unable to fit in and even becoming disconnected or eventually dropping out.
The City Mission's Back to School Programme offers families in this position a chance to get their children to school with the uniform and materials they need. It's vital for children to get a good education and these things shouldn't block that. It is also a chance for the City Mission to get a wider view of a struggling family's circumstances and see how its wrap-around services could help the families in other ways, over and above the school costs crisis.
To get assistance, parents must first be interviewed by a City Mission social worker. They are then assessed for need and must show proof of school enrollment and income. They also need to come with quotes for goods. The Mission also gets referrals from school counsellors, social workers with other agencies, Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Development.
The Back to School Programme comes directly from donations and fundraising. Over a year the City Mission would fund school costs for on average 360 families. This represents many more individual students.
Through crowdfunding and the power of social media we invite everyone to help make a positive contribution towards this important initiative. Our impact will have a lasting effect today, and for generations to come.