Aviva is a specialist family and sexual violence agency, originally established as the Christchurch Women’s Refuge. Since forming in 1973 it has supported the wider Canterbury community with a range of specialist services to assist people who have experienced violence and, since 2011, those who have used or are at risk of using violence, as well as members of their wider families.

Through our Family focus area, The Tindall Foundation (TTF) has made a direct donation to Aviva totalling $253,000 since 2012. That helped enable the opening in 2016 of The Loft — an innovative project that brings together a range of social and community services.

The Loft is improving child, family and community wellbeing by providing a one-stop-shop for multiple services under one roof, including Plunket, Problem Gambling Foundation Services and a medical centre. It also enables staff across multiple agencies to collaborate more closely.

In The Loft’s first two years over 600 individuals and families, most of whom were unconnected with other support agencies, came through its doors and received in-depth navigation services and personalised plans. Several hundred others each week simply seek support, information and advice on a range of social issues. TTF’s donation also helped create a pivotal new role to support those coming to The Loft to access services, as Marketing Manager Julie McCloy explains:

“We were able to create Te Ara Atea — Family Violence Wayfinder for The Loft’s front-of-house social emergency response team. For the 40% of people coming into The Loft who have experience of family violence, the Wayfinder offers support immediately until longer-term safety interventions are fully in place.

“This role helps ease the burden on already over-subscribed family violence services, but most importantly offers support to those in need and distress.”

Julie says that Aviva has benefited from a close working relationship with TTF. “We talk regularly, sharing our successes and learnings, and the Foundation is genuinely interested in how the work in which they have invested in making an impact. The support of TTF and in particular having them advocating for us at the government level is invaluable.”

TTF chose the project because it aligns with the Foundation’s goal of helping all New Zealanders to live in healthy, safe and violence-free homes. It also meets a range of priorities including putting whānau at the centre, working holistically, and focusing on long-term solutions.