As we enter 2024, we would like to take some time to shine a spotlight on some of the charities we supported with grants and other initiatives in 2023. One of the organisations that really stood out to us was Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ (https://www.facebook.com/grg.org.nz) (GRG), who operate throughout the country including in Southland, Whanganui, Canterbury, and Otago.
This amazing organisation supported 796 caregiver families, 1356 grandparent and whānau/kin caregivers, and 2573 tamariki and rangatahi last year. What a monumental effort!
GRG shared with us the impact their support and advocacy had for a grandmother who was facing challenges obtaining the unsupported child benefit. They told us that GRG played a crucial role in helping the grandmother file a court application and obtain interim custody of her grandchildren. Regarding obtaining financial assistance for the family in the form of the unsupported child benefit, GRG said:
"The journey to secure UCB was marked by declined applications, rejections, and missed hearings due to communication gaps. However, her determination, combined with GRG’s steadfast backing, proved unstoppable. Through GRG’s support, she reapplied, advocating for retroactive payments, resulting in an astounding $10,571.22 in UCB arrears payments."
GRG's support extends beyond advocacy services. GRG explained further, "Beyond financial advocacy, GRG provided crucial emotional support and guidance, becoming an unwavering source of strength. In the face of adversity, GRG emerged as a reliable pillar, ensuring that grandparents raising grandchildren and whanau/kin carers not only receive essential resources but also the encouragement needed for their journey."
It is clear how necessary GRG's services are within our communities to improve the lives of children being raised by their grandparents and whānau/kin caregivers. Thank you for your hard work and dedication! We appreciate everything you do.