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Our stories

Children three classroom

The people we work with, the trials they face, and the challenges they hope to overcome are told in the many stories we have written (with their consent).

Their stories remind us of why we are a charity, dedicated to helping vulnerable children, young people, families/whānau and older people so that they can have meaningful, connected lives.

Below are some of those stories. As you'll see, these people have faced adversity but have faced their challenges with audacity and bravery, having been helped by our team of trained social workers, psychologists and counsellors.

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You can also make a difference to people just like them by supporting our work with a donation. As a charity, we rely on the generosity and kindness of people just like you.

"Olivia* is a 19-year-old single mother of two, who has grown up in extreme poverty with a mother who had mental health issues. Olivia’s eldest son is almost five and her youngest child is just two. "
Rundown house to healthy home
"Graham* had been bedridden for months whilst awaiting surgery. With his mobility issues, he needed help finding suitable housing that
would be available once he left hospital."
Finding a suitable place to recover
"Lucas* is a 15-year-old who realised in intermediate school that he was different. He tried to ignore what he was feeling, but his mental health plummeted and he tried to take his own life."
Providing a safe space to talk
"As a whānau of five, the Greenwood* family were struggling financially and unable to provide enough food or buy essential winter clothes to satisfy their basic needs."
Accessing the right tools to thrive
"Aotearoa recently celebrated National Volunteer Week. Our Family Works and Enliven volunteers are vital to the work we do, so here we shine a spotlight on just a few of our Enliven volunteers."
National Volunteer Week - our shining stars
"One of our organisation's goals is to ensure mana whenua is recognised and partnerships are developed with iwi, marae and Māori providers."
Pathway to Cultural Accreditation
"Gemma Whiting is a social worker who puts others before herself. She’s part of our wonderful team in Ashburton/Hakatere."
Getting to know Gemma Whiting
"Champagne Dela Cruz is a determined young woman who moved to Franz Josef and studied at South Westland Area School. Champagne is a 2021 recipient of the Dennis Moore Memorial Scholarship."
A gifted artist
"Anthony's favourite day of the week is Wednesday and there's a good reason for that. It's the day he meets his friends at the Tōtara Club in Picton."
Wednesday is the best day!
"Verity Mace is a relatively new mentor, having joined Presbyterian Support towards the end of 2021 and her relationship with Emma*(10) is sparkling."
Playlists, hula hoops and skateboarding
"Harriet* has Alzheimer’s disease. She lives with her adult son Stephen* who, while determined to take care good care of her, must manage some mental health issues of his own."
A home of your own choosing means so much
"17-year-old single parent Michaela* gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Brody*, but by the time she turned 18 she was unable to live at home because of domestic violence."
Turning a new corner
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