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Kiri Swannell named 2016 national community hero

Media release: Kiri Swannell named 2016 national community hero

Hawke’s Bay community contributor Kiri Swannell is The Warehouse national Community Hero for 2016.

Kiri has helped numerous Hawkes Bay homeless people through her community organisation Limitless Hope and was acknowledged with a standing ovation at The Warehouse Group’s Gala Dinner on Friday [19 August, 2016] in front of a 1500-strong crowd.

In presenting the award The Warehouse Group CEO Nick Grayston said Kiri is someone who saw a need in her community and went above and beyond to fulfil it.

Kiri began Limitless Hope since 2013 to provide emergency shelter as a short term option for those in need. She recognised that to get people back on their feet there was a need for both shelter and some training to empower them.

Through Limitless Hope Kiri has been able to get around 80 people out of their cars or off the streets and into permanent accommodation.

The Warehouse Group Executive General Manager for Community and Environment Paul Walsh said every year a person from each community of our 92 stores is nominated for the award.

The person must have clearly gone above and beyond what might normally be expected. A person who is there for their community no matter what, who gives generously of their time and who makes a real difference to those in need of help in their neighbourhood.

In helping those in her community, Kiri has been funded in the most part by the Swannell family and fundraising activities, with additional funds from proceeds of the 10c plastic bags sold at The Warehouse.

Kiri says Limitless Hope is all about serving people with compassion and respect and having a non-judgmental approach with strong values.

“I see my work with Limitless Hope as a way of bringing people together and the community together,” said Kiri.

Some of the projects undertaken by Limitless Hope include:

• A weekly soup kitchen catering for between 40-50 people per week

• Charity appeal week for a homeless shelter in Hawke’s Bay

• Collection of food, fruits and other ingredients to create and distribute snack packs as well as facilitate baking

• Collection and distribution of clothing and blankets.

Kiri receives $5,000 as part of her award.

About The Warehouse Group’s commitment to communities:

The Warehouse Group’s support for New Zealand communities is one of its key strategic commitments. In more than 30 years of operation, through the generosity of its customers, suppliers and team members it has contributed more than $44 million to charities and community development throughout New Zealand. The annual Warehouse Group Gala Dinner is the country’s largest charity fundraiser event. The Group accounts for its performance with respect to community and the environment through its annual Community & Environment Report, which is available at http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/red/content/homepage/communities-and-environment/reports.

About The Warehouse Group:

The Warehouse Group Limited currently comprises 92 The Warehouse stores, 77 Noel Leeming stores, 64 Warehouse Stationery stores and 10 Toropedo7 stores in New Zealand and several online retailers. In FY15 the Group’s turnover was $2.77 million. The company employs more than 12,000 people.


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