Homes of Hope holds Community Initiative at Bayfair

1240 Project Hope  14
1240 Project Hope 14

A unique Bay of Plenty community initiative got a boost from Bayfair Shopping Centre and national child advocate Christine Rankin. Ms Rankin made a special visit to the centre during Bayfair’s hosting of the Homes of Hope Playhouses as part of the Homes of Hope Playhouse initiative.

Christine Rankin, a long-time Homes of Hope supporter, visited to encourage public support for the initiative. She says Bayfair Shopping Centre is unusually progressive, and unafraid to take a stand on important community issues: “Along with raising awareness of Homes of Hope, the centre is leading by example with its sustainability strategy.”

Ms Rankin says Homes of Hope sets a great example for other regions to follow. “All children need love and support from caring adults, and Homes of Hope gives that to Kiwi kids who aren’t getting it from their own families. It’s making a tremendous difference to their lives now and their prospects for the future, and I’d like to ask everyone to get behind Homes of Hope in whatever way they can, whether it’s through making a donation or becoming a mentor.”

Hilary Jean Price, CEO Homes of Hope Charitable Trust, says community support is essential to the ongoing success of the trust. “We now have three Homes of Hope in the Bay of Plenty, and the support of businesses like Bayfair Shopping Centre means we can continue our work to help many Kiwi children live happy and healthy lives.”

The Homes of Hope Playhouse Promotion is designed to highlight the Trust, its work to help children in need and at risk in New Zealand, and to offer the public the opportunity to support them.

Members of the community are invited to be mentors for the children and spend time with them on weekends. Steve Ellingford, Operations Manager at Bayfair Shopping Centre, mentors two children with his partner Angela Wallace. The couple welcomes the children into their home and includes them in their own families’ special celebrations, offering them experiences they may not otherwise have.

The benefits to children are obvious, but Mr Ellingford said there was a big pay-off for mentors too. “It’s a privilege to be involved with such beautiful children, and to feel like you are making a difference in their lives and the community. It’s great to be a part of the amazing network of people around Homes of Hope.”

“Steve and Angela are a great example to the rest of the community of what we can all do to help at-risk children,” said Bayfair Shopping Centre Manager Andrew Wadsworth. “Bayfair is pleased to be able to support such a great charity, both as a business and through the efforts of individual staff members.”

Mr Wadsworth said the centre would be making a contribution of $500 in gift vouchers to each playhouse, for the two winners to spend on toys and children’s clothing. A further $500 gift vouchers will be donated to Homes of Hope.

Homes of Hope Playhouses will be stationed at shopping malls around the Sunny Bay from 24 September to 6 October, and the public will be encouraged to locate the playhouses, where they can enter the draw to win their own playhouse.

The Trust runs three purpose-built homes which provide an extended support system for children. The charity relies heavily on volunteers from the community to provide a loving environment for the children, and each house has a fully-trained ‘Mum and Dad.’

Homes of Hope is a non-profit Trust established in 2002 to provide consistent foster care of a high standard for children who are unable to live with their own families.

Top: Christine Rankin (right) at Bayfair Shopping Centre supporting the Homes of Hope Playhouse initiative along with Hilary Jean Price, CEO of Homes of Hope (left) who is presented with three $500 Bayfair Shopping Centre gift certificates by Bayfair Shopping Centre Manager, Andrew Wadsworth (centre). The gift certificates will go to the two lucky winners of the Playhouse initiative, the third voucher will be spent on gifts for the Homes of Hope children.

MId: L-R: Steve Ellingford (Homes of Hope Mentor and Bayfair Shopping Centre Operations Manager), Lindie Du Toit (Homes of Hope), Christine Rankin, Melissa Campbell (Homes of Hope) Hilary Jean Price (Homes of Hope CEO), and Andrew Wadsworth (Bayfair Shopping Centre Manager) at Bayfair Shopping Centre supporting the Homes of Hope playhouse initiative running throughout the Tauranga area until October 6.

About Bayfair Shopping Centre
More than 85 of the Bay’s best stores are conveniently located under one roof, with seven-day opening and two late nights to accommodate busy lifestyles. Large-format stores include Farmers, K-Mart, Countdown and Woolworths. Bayfair provides a full range of services for customers, including a parents’ room, wheelchairs, strollers and kiddy karts. We also have free interior and exterior parking for 1700 vehicles.

For further information:

Alexander Communications
Bernadette Chamberlain
+64 (0)9 522 5541
027 477 1573

Alexander Communications
Frederika Rutherford
+64 (0)9 522 5540
0275 411 397