Community Donations Help Break Down Barriers

02 Jun 2021

As part of a commitment to reduce period poverty in New Zealand, WEL has ensured the availability of period products for staff and has extended this initiative further by donating by donating up to $200 worth of period products to the Pukete Neighbourhood House to distribute as and when required.

We’re really proud to be supporting our staff and our community.

“I can’t explain how grateful these women are. This has removed barriers for so many women that we support,” Pukete Neighbourhood House Community Support Leah Camenzind says.

As part of WEL Networks’ purpose to enable our communities to thrive, up to $200 worth of period products have been donated to Pukete Neighbourhood House each month, since March, to distribute as and when required.

Pukete Neighbourhood House provide a range of community services including legal advice, food parcels, child care support and more.

“It’s been really good, the amount that we are getting is impressive. It’s a very generous donation,” she says.

As part of supporting those struggling financially in our community, Pukete Neighbourhood House have been offering period products alongside food parcels.

“Every time someone comes in for a food parcel, I always offer them period products. It may not be for themselves but it’s often for those in their household. When money is scarce, toiletry items are not often considered. It’s an incredible addition for us to be able to support these women,” she says.

Signs have also been placed in the women’s and children’s bathrooms advising that there are period products available on-site if they are required.

“If they need to take a pack home then that’s absolutely fine. That is what they are there for. We always have stock on hand and it’s always available to those that require it,” she says.

Products have also been allocated to school holiday and after school care programmes that are run out of Pukete Neighbourhood House.

“It makes these young women feel more supported, comfortable and confident. Anytime we can offer that above and beyond service and support for anyone is a win-win. It’s one less thing they have to worry about,” she says.

Business Development Manager Scott Tiffany says part of mana building for people is when they don’t have to ask.

“There’s no criteria to meet. It’s there if they need it without having to ask or tell their story – it is discreet . . . so their sense of self wellbeing and pride is maintained. There are no barriers. Whenever we can remove a barrier to access, it’s a step in the right direction and it’s a win-win for us,” Scott Tiffany says.

In the last two years the team have seen an increased need for food parcel support.

“In 2019 we gave out nine food parcels for the year. Prior to and during last year’s alert level changes, Covid-19 shone a spotlight on the issues that we, as a community organisation, already knew existed. But it also highlighted the fact that there were a lot of people out there that we didn’t know who needed our support.

Last year, we gave out 200 food parcels and this year we’ve already given out that number. We’re expecting to triple last year’s numbers at the end of 2021. We are here to support our community and if anyone needs any support including period products, please come and see us,” he says.