The Salvation Army is no ordinary army. Since 1883, the Army has fought poverty and social and spiritual distress in New Zealand – helping people in need with budgeting advice, food parcels, life skills programmes and other comfort and support.

Through a nationwide network of community centres and programmes, The Salvation Army helps over 120,000 New Zealanders every year.

Salvation Army Tindall Funding Manager Shane Chisholm says the Army’s aim is to provide better options in life for families and individuals who ask for help and give them a helping hand toward a brighter future.

“Assisting people to resolve their own problems and become increasingly independent is a remarkable responsibility,” Shane says. “It is life changing for clients as they move on to making positive decisions for themselves and their families.”

The Salvation Army is able to meet the high demand for services through the commitment and generosity of supporters including The Tindall Foundation.

“The support of The Tindall Foundation is an admirable expression of New Zealanders’ empathy to their fellow Kiwis in desperate need,” says Shane. “Their seeding of new initiatives tailored to meet the individual needs of local communities connects particularly well with our delivery of social services.”

The Salvation Army’s Safe from Start programme is an innovative approach to working with pre-school children exposed to family violence. This initiative trains workers involved in child and family work to facilitate therapeutic play therapy programmes for children, along with their parents. Funding from The Tindall Foundation has enabled the launch of the programme in Manukau.

Safe from the Start equips Salvation Army social workers to facilitate a safe healing environment for children, along with their main caregiving parent. As the child plays, the parent learns about the child’s experiences and emotions, and also how to use the toys to build attachment with their child and further develop parenting skills.

Living in poverty puts intense and relentless pressures on couples and many relationships don’t survive the strain. New Zealanders throughout the country are seeing dramatic changes in their lives after taking part in the Positive Lifestyle Programme, a course designed by The Salvation Army. This programme aims to raise self-awareness, enabling clients to identify and overcome personal difficulties before they become major problems.

The 10-week course covers topics such as dealing with depression, anger, grief and stress, which is an ever-present and potentially damaging aspect of life for most poor families. The programme works toward building self-esteem and assertiveness and developing goal-setting skills.

Funding from The Tindall Foundation has helped set up the Positive Lifestyle Programme in Whangarei for clients referred from Salvation Army centres and the Department of Corrections. The programme is developing into a powerful tool in aiding clients to resolve their own problems and become increasingly independent.

A firewood project in Blenheim illustrates how focussing on needs at a local level benefits a whole community. With assistance from The Tindall Foundation, the Army has partnered with local wood suppliers and the Community Probation Service, organising workers to convert pallets to firewood and deliver supplies to those in need.

People learn both work and interpersonal skills by taking part in this project. With these skills, participants are now gaining fulltime employment – and people in the community have warm homes.

Having a long-term relationship with The Tindall Foundation allows The Salvation Army to take a strategic approach to allocating funds to social services projects.

“We are working with an organisation that understands what we do and why we do it,” Shane says.

“With the high level of trust between the parties and effective governance by The Tindall Foundation, the fund manager model is an excellent approach to helping both New Zealanders in need and their communities.”