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Stand celebrates re-opening of children’s village in Chch

4 April 2014

Stand celebrates re-opening of children’s village in Christchurch

Stand Children’s Services opened its new facility at Glenelg Spur in Christchurch yesterday, with the organisation’s patron His Excellency Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor General of New Zealand, doing the official honours.

The new purpose-built facility is named Te Ao Mārama - the new dawn - and is the hub from which all of Stand’s services in Christchurch will operate.

Stand’s services target New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families and include home and school based social work services, a therapeutic care and education service for children and families, and respite services for caregivers, including grandparents and foster parents.

Te Ao Mārama is three years in the making, after Stand’s original Christchurch village was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.

Stand Chief Executive, Dr Fiona Inkpen said she and her organisation were delighted to see this dream become a reality after many struggles alongside the Canterbury community.

“This is a place for children and families to recover and feel safe, and where they can find ways to trust, hope and dream again, with each new day,” she said.

“It’s a place where children will discover, to paraphrase A A Milne, they are braver than they believe, stronger than they seem, and smarter than they think.

“Opening the new children’s village today is testament to the dedication of our staff and the continual support we have received from friends in the local community.

“We would like thank everyone that has been involved in supporting our work in our temporary home, and in the development of the new village over the last three years.

“Our hope and aim for Te Ao Mārama is that it will become a real community taonga.”

The ground floor of the facility is the children’s own world. It belongs to them. At one end is a gymnasium, at the other a swimming pool, and in between three wonderful homes where children can enjoy privacy, safety, and security.

A $9.5 million investment in the region, Te Ao Mārama was partially funded by $500,000 from the Christchurch Earthquake appeal and $600,000 donated by the Children’s Health Camps Charitable Trust.

The new facility was designed by architects Stufkens + Chambers and the construction overseen by Arrow International.

About Stand Children’s Services
Stand Children’s Services is a charity that provides specialist home and school based social work services including therapeutic care and education to New Zealand’s most vulnerable children aged 5 to 12.

Stand’s mission is to transform the lives of children and young people who are at significant risk of harm to their wellbeing as a consequence of the environment in which they are being raised and their own complex needs.

For each child they seek to develop their capacity to live in healthy, hopeful relationships with others. On this depends all of the other necessary outcomes which contribute to their ability to enjoy life and reach their potential.

Stand’s success in working with children is based on their deep commitment to being child centred, family respectful, trauma aware, solution focused, and culturally competent in all that they do.

Many of the children referred to Stand will not successfully recover without a planned and consistent therapeutic environment. The children need to experience profound healing relationships, and see that everyone is working together to get to the bottom of their difficulties in the context of everyday life, school and community. Stand’s Children’s Villages provide this transformative experience.

Stand recognises that a child’s home and family, school and teachers, neighbourhood and friends all play a critical role in a child’s world and that each system requires attention to improve a child’s quality of life. Today Stand provides an effective wraparound service by brokering and coordinating services with many agencies and providers across New Zealand.

Formerly Te Puna Whaiora Children’s Health Camps, the organisation changed its name in April 2013 to Stand Children’s Services to shine a light on the issues faced by vulnerable children in New Zealand. The charity has helped more than 270,000 children since its inception in 1919.


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