Community Partner Chat

During the lockdown, we’re putting the spotlight on our community partners, showcasing their support for New Zealanders and how you can give a helping hand. Keep an eye out for new partner spotlights each week.

Community Partner Spotlight: Women’s Refuge

This week, we got in touch with Dr Ang Jury, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge.

Womens Refuge - CEO Dr Ang Jury

Women’s Refuge is our largest national provider of support for women and children experiencing family violence.  It provide a wide range of services and programs, delivered by both paid staff and a large network of trained volunteers, to ensure that families can live happy, violence-free lives. Last year, nearly 60,000 women and children were referred to its services.

For several years, The Warehouse has proudly supported Women’s Refuge in the form of in-store fundraising campaigns and product donations. Last year during the Be the Joy Christmas fundraising campaign, The Warehouse was able to raise more than $147,000 f or the charity to purchase essential items. We also were one of the first brands to turn our website into a shielded site, which offers victims of domestic violence a discreet, untraceable way to get help.

While in lockdown, Dr Jury says the unexpected positive she’s discovered has been the teamwork she’s witnessed. “I have been amazed by how the team at Women’s Refuge have all worked together to keep the organisation operational under stressful circumstances. I can say that our level of service has not skipped a beat during this challenging time, and we are still 100% here, as we have always been, for women and children.”

As far as what she’s hoping to do once lockdown is over, Dr Jury is keeping it simple. “The first thing I’ll do is head back to the office, although I am anticipating the day I can head to my favourite restaurant on a Sunday afternoon!”

Learn more about Women’s Refuge and how you can help support its work here. 

This week, we got in touch with Amy Hughes, General Manager Community,
Experience and Conservation at Wellington Zoo.

1. Tell us about Wellington Zoo!

Wellington Zoo is New Zealand’s first Zoo. We are a team of powerfully passionate individuals who are champions for the welfare of all animals - within and beyond the boundaries of the Zoo. We are supported by a community that actively takes part in our commitment to caring for and saving species locally, nationally and globally.
We are guided by our kaupapa, Me Tiaki, Kia Ora! We must look after our environment, so all things will flourish. It is up to us collectively to make a difference for animals and the wild places they call home. 

2. What is your role?

I lead the teams who deliver Wellington Zoo’s learning experiences, community engagement, marketing and communications and conservation porgrammes. Our team connects people with animals, and connects them to the wider natural world and connects the Zoo to our community. We partner with conservation organisations in New Zealand and around the world, and help tell their stories to our Wellington community.

I’ve been working with The Warehouse team on Zoofari since we started in 2013 and it is one my favourite programmes – kids are so excited at coming to the Zoo for Zoofari, experiencing (some for the first time) in real life the animals we care for. 

3. How does your partnership with The Warehouse support your organisation?

Along with Auckland Zoo, Hamilton Zoo and Orana Park we partner with The Warehouse on the Zoofari programme bringing kids from Decile 1-3 schools to the Zoos for conservation based learning experiences.  Through Zoofari we love being able to bring kids to our Zoos to inspire and engage them with conservation issues and encourage a robust, respectful and inquisitive interaction with animals and their world. And, they leave knowing at least one achievable sustainable action they can take to make our planet healthy.

These children are inheriting a world with major environmental issues and challenges, and many are from urban environments disconnected from the natural world and the animals who call it home. We play a part in equipping them with the passion and knowledge they will need to face those challenges.  We are helping inspire the world-changers and world-savers of the future.

4. What has been the unexpected positive you have discovered while been in lock down?

Exploring more of my neighbourhood on foot and discovering new things. I have been finding streets and alleyways and shortcuts I didn’t know were there

5. What is the first thing you are going to do when lockdown ends? 

The first thing I am going to do is to go and visit my friends and family for lunch out somewhere (with hot chips), and go for a walk somewhere that is not in my neighbourhood!

If you’d like to support the Zoofari programme, you can donate here:

Wellington Zoo - General Manager Community Amy Hughes

Community partner chat: Plunket

This week, we got in touch with Lara Schonberger, Partnerships Manager at Plunket. 

Plunket - Partnership Manager Lara Schonberger

Since 2014, The Warehouse has partnered with Plunket to support its mission of providing health and wellbeing services to the children of New Zealand and their families.

In 2017 and 2019, The Warehouse fundraised for over 3,000 boxes filled with essential items for new babies that nurses gift Plunket families who need it most.

“Some of the families receiving them have not had many brand new things before, and they dig through like it’s treasure. These boxes have been incredibly well received and we’re humbled to be able to give them,” says Lara. “The Warehouse has also generously donated laptops so that more Plunket staff are able to virtually support parents of children under five as they navigate the highs and lows of parenting during lockdown -- something we’re all very thankful for!”

As for the unexpected positive that she’s discovered while in lockdown, Lara says that reconnecting with old friends who she hasn’t spoken to in ages has been a big plus. “I’ve also been doing a lot more baking and have discovered a recipe for apple cake that I love,” she adds.

When lockdown ends, Lara will be doing what a lot of us are planning to do – a visit to the salon. “I’ll likely go on a diet and visit the hairdresser first thing. Although I suspect I’ll be lining up around the block before any scissors touch my split ends!”

Learn more about Plunket and how you can support the non-profit here: