A World of Inspiration

6th of April, 2017

An Exotic Fashion, Travel and Charity Evening for Aviva

In early April Aviva, Jane Daniels Design and Innovative Travel will be holding a fabulous evening to inspire your winter wardrobe and your holiday planning (in time to catch discounted early bird bookings!), all whilst supporting Aviva.

PREVIEW Jane Daniels Winter season Russian inspired collection.

DISCOVER ancient kingdoms with Robyn Galloway of Innovative Travel, and get some top travel tips.

ENJOY a Cotton Candy Vodka cocktail on arrival, courtesy of Spiritual Vodka

SAVOUR delicious canapes, and local and imported wine.

RECEIVE a complimentary Goodie Bag, with some special treats - you deserve it!

LISTEN to the jazz fusion sound of Vintage Blue.

TREAT yourself to something amazing in our charity auction.

 

 

MC - Lady Susan Satyanand

Auctioneer - Lindsay Welch, Mike Pero Real Estate

A gorgeous mohair rug from The Mohair Store; an original art work from Denise Gaiifkin; a fabulously stylish bag from Maison Scotch, courtesy of Brave; Dining experience at Fiddlesticks; Pinot Noir from Muddy Water and Greystone Wines; accommodation in Christchurch, Akaroa, North Canterbury, and Bay of Islands; and more!

Thursday 6th April 2017

Hagley Oval

5.30 – 8.00pm

Individual tickets: $85 per person

Corporate Tables: $850 per table of 10

To purchase tickets please make a Direct Debit to Aviva, 389017 0823864 00; include your name and the reference 'AWOI' and please email us to confirm your booking.

 

City2Surf - Sore Feet for Safer Families

23rd of January, 2017

Welcome to 2017!
 
New Year is a time of year when people make resolutions. If you resolved to get fitter in 2017, we can provide you with some inspiration!

Aviva is the charity of choice for the 43rd City2Surf on 19 March this year. If you are taking part, why not maximise your effort and help raise funds for Aviva?
 
There are a variety of ways you can help us to raise the $2 million we need each year.

1. If you sign up to run/walk the City2Surf, we have a charitable discount code for 1,000 people to use. This code will give you 20% ($5) off your online registration fee, which you can then donate to Aviva as you register. As you are completing your online entry, simply tick the $5 donation box online, then on the payment screen add the code (C2SAVIVA) to get your discount – no greater cost to you, and $5 to Aviva!

2. If you register online at City2Surf.co.nz, you also have the option of making a donation to the value of your choice to Aviva right then and there.
 
3. Become a fundraiser for us by joining our Sore Feet for Safer Families Givealittle page, or create your own page, and run with Team Aviva. By joining Team Aviva as a fundraiser, and generating at least three donations, you can:
  • Run with NZ Hockey star Gemma Flynn who is supporting Team Aviva at this event
  • Join us in wearing an Aviva tee-shirt for the run (if you wish)
  • Join us at the Aviva tent afterwards for a free sausage sizzle
  • Pick up a free bottle of SpringFresh water from the Aviva tent
  • Plus other exciting opportunities that we will let you know about closer to the time
We look forward to welcoming you to the team!

 

ReachOut Awarded for Reducing Family Violence Reoffending

24th of November, 2016

A real highlight of 2016 has been seeing ReachOut, our early intervention, proactively offered service for men using or at risk of causing family violence, publicly acknowledged for its success in reducing family violence.

In May ReachOut received two awards at the national Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Awards. These awards recognise long-term, sustainable crime prevention and reduction. ReachOut, developed in partnership with Canterbury Police, won the award for excellence in reducing repeat victimisations and also received the Supreme Award across all categories.

Based on analysis of Police data, the reoffending rate in the North Canterbury region in the three years prior to ReachOut’s introduction was 18%. This was sustainably reduced to 1.4% (a 92% drop) in the three years following the service’s introduction there in 2012.

In October, Aviva and New Zealand Police presented ReachOut at the 2016 international POP conference in Arizona, USA. ReachOut was also selected as one of only seven out of 27 finalists to be shortlisted for the major Herman Goldstein Award. Whilst ReachOut missed out on winning that award, results were very close and the presentation was highly commended. The judges were rightly impressed by ReachOut’s success in making families and communities safer.

Thank you to everyone who has supported ReachOut over the past four and half years. Most of all, congratulations to all the men who have used the service to enhance their own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those closest to them. 

 

Ian's Story of Change

24th of November, 2016

Ian is one of the many men that have benefitted from ReachOut’s support, and so has his family.

Ian has been married for almost 30 years, and recently life brought some changes which caused him a lot of stress. His wife, already experiencing depression, was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease; his daughter entered a ‘challenging’ teenage period; and his professional life became unstable as his company restructured. Life had become very insecure.

“How I responded to those changes was to become excessively controlling” Ian says.  “I couldn't control things at work, so instead, without realising, I focused my control and criticism on wife and daughter. I constantly pulled my daughter up on her teenage ‘manners’; I accused my wife of not caring about me, despite seeing she was struggling so much. What they both really needed was my love and support.”

Ian’s behaviour caused huge arguments with wife, and his daughter, who was having counselling for anxiety. “My wife suggested we have some time apart. I was very reluctant - it felt like this was the first step of separation - but I knew there was no other option. As I was the one whose behaviour most needed to change, I moved out and we both made a commitment to get appropriate help.

“It was very hard to leave home, but at the same time, I knew if I’d stayed, despite the best of intentions, nothing would change. I knew I needed help to change my behaviour and, as there had been family violence involved, I followed my wife’s suggestion and phoned Aviva. I’d taken the first step...”

Ian’s first session with his ReachOut worker Darragh a few days later proved insightful for him. “He listened to me intently, then respectfully suggested my behaviour wasn't because of stress - it was really because I didn't like or approve of myself. My wife had previously said the same to me many times, but it hadn’t made sense. Darragh explained it in a way I could understand – basically my opinion of myself had formed back in my childhood, which wasn’t great. If my picture of a loving relationship was based on what I saw as a young child, then no wonder it was really distorted.

By the end of his first session, Ian realised the real issue was not all the external factors he was experiencing. “Knowing what the real problem was meant that I could do something about it now. I had hope again” he says.

Ian had to follow his insights up with hard, emotional work that required re-examining his attitudes to his my wife and daughter, and how they might feel experiencing his behaviour. He realised that he had to rebuild his family’s sense of safety before trust, communication, and intimacy could be expected. His change in thinking and understanding affected his actions and when things didn’t go so well, they no longer escalated - a sign that he and his family were creating a new, better way of relating.

For Ian, one of the best moments was reconnecting with his daughter. “One night I described my ‘journey’ so far to her and apologised for my behaviour towards her. She said to me ‘Dad, it’s like you’ve grown up 20 years emotionally and gotten 10 years younger physically - all your worry lines are gone.’ I was blown away by that.”

Ian and his family are now safely back together and working towards a vision of family life for their future. “The difference that the support I received from Aviva has made has been incredible. I see my wife and daughter differently now, I’ve learned to approve of myself and we have started to love each other all over again. There is a totally different atmosphere in our house. We have occasional lapses, but situations do not develop any more. We have a family safety plan together in case one of us should get angry again and we’ve all signed it. Our family now feels like a positive spiral where every bit of progress, every positive difference we see, makes the foundation stronger. So much tension has just....GONE – and for the first time since I was a young child, I feel happy about ME!!” 

 

Christmas Message from Nicola

24th of November, 2016

Another busy year draws to a close – it’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over! At Aviva it’s been a year of challenges and celebrations, particularly as we worked hard with our partners to build The Loft and, since moving in, continued to work on keeping our promise to provide better, more accessible services and support to our community.

We also improved our in-school Healthy Relationship programme and through it, supported more young people towards safer, more respectful relationships; extended access to our microfinance services; and joined a high profile national pilot – all on top of our day-to-day work of supporting people on their journeys to violence-free lives.

Hundreds of families every year rely on the services we provide, and so our team at Aviva sends our thanks to you - our family of volunteers, supporters and partners - for joining in this important work. You are an essential part of the change that together we support others to make, and in improving the safety and wellbeing of children and adults throughout Canterbury. We are very privileged that we get to walk alongside people on their journeys.

The recent earthquakes have unnerved and re-traumatised many people, and we expect to see this stress, as has been the case since 2010, reflected in more people using our services. Each year it becomes increasingly difficult to find the resources needed to offer sustainable, effective and free services to the many children, women and men who want the violence in their lives to stop, and from there build safe and fulfilled lives. The majority of our services continue to rely on grants and donations. If you are able to support one of these essential services to make tangible and positive differences in people’s lives, please use the slip accompanying this newsletter. And thank you in advance for doing so! 

Lastly, on behalf of our team, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday with your friends, family and loved ones. Take care of each other, and we’ll see you in 2017.

Nicola

 

Unveiling 'The Loft' - A Unique Health and Wellbeing Centre

24th of November, 2016

It’s finally happened! The co-located community, social and health service hub called The Loft that we have been part of creating for four years finally opened on 4 July on the first floor of Eastgate Shopping Centre.

The Loft is not just a physical space; it is a partnership of social, community and health agencies operating in a unique co-location with an intention of better supporting children, young people and families towards wellbeing.

The Loft aims to make access to multiple services much easier, and enable staff across services to work more closely together. It comprises two key service delivery centres. One is a growing hub of social and community services that includes child safety, microfinance, parenting support, social work support and family and sexual violence services. Adjacent is Linwood Medical Centre, home to a range of health providers including general practice, pharmacy, physiotherapy, midwifery, district nursing, older person’s health and mental health services.

Such a broad collection of services, seeking to work in truly integrated ways in the practical delivery of services, is part of what makes The Loft unique in Australasia. But even more important is the way of working. As organisations that support members of our community to achieve wellbeing, we have made a commitment to offer more than our business-as-usual services. By developing and adapting a range of key service processes, such as seamless consent to the multiple service agencies located in The Loft, the intention is to make access to support easier for the people in our community who need assistance.

Since opening on 4 July, over 140 people have walked into The Loft social services area to seek support from the agencies based there, get information or to be linked with appropriate services elsewhere. 

 

Christmas Appeal - Making Families safe@home

24th of November, 2016

“The kids were quite scared that he would come back and hurt us, and I was sleeping with a golf club next to the bed.”

For most of us, our home is our safe place, away from imminent harm; sleeping with a golf club and one eye open doesn’t sound very restful. But that was the reality for Nicola and her two children, seven and five, before they received Aviva’s Shine Safe@home security upgrade service.

Nicola had been in a violent relationship for seven - eight months. A couple of close friends knew and were trying to help her, but the real impetus to leave came when her partner assaulted her in public, on her driveway. “I thought, ‘right, it’s time to get help’” says Nicola. “I reported the incident to Police, who arrested him - they did their job well. I also talked with Aviva, who had called me after receiving the Police report. I made an appointment to go in and talk with them, and they recommended safe@home for me, as well as giving me other information and offers of further support. Soon after I was called by a safe@home worker – they moved really fast, it was amazing.”

Shine safe@home makes the homes of those at highest risk of repeat or severe family violence safer from forced re-entry. Since its introduction to Canterbury in late 2012, safe@home has made over 1,230 children and adults, like Nicola and her children, safer in their own homes.

For Nicola, and other safe@home clients, one of the first steps is undertaking an assessment of the home and installing a personal alarm. Approved tradespeople then arranged to install door and/or window bolts and locks, security lighting, or replace windows etc. “That all happened in a very short period of time” says Nicola. “They were lovely guys too, really passionate about what they did."

"Now I have a personal alarm on me and the security measures such as the peephole and extra locks have made me and the kids feel a lot safer. We haven’t had an incident since and we’re all sleeping better. When the violence was going on, my five year old was having behavioural issues, playing up and being aggressive at school; that’s all stopped now, and he’s calm again.”

Client evaluations in 2015 showed that 92.5% of clients experienced no further assaults in their home after the security upgrades, and that Shine safe@home has been 100% successful in preventing offender violence against children in their home. This service is a sustainable safety measure, and one which doesn’t re-traumatise those who’ve experienced violence by requiring them to leave their home and neighbourhood.

This service costs on average $1,500 per home to deliver, but will soon be completely un-funded. That is why this year, our Christmas appeal will focus on supporting Shine safe@home, and enabling those who are overcoming violence to live more safely, in their own home.

This Christmas, you have the opportunity to help a vulnerable child and his/her family to experience the joy of being safe@home. Safety is a gift they can treasure forever. It’s easy to make a donation to Aviva. You can donate online through our Givealittle page or visit our donations page for other options.

 

 

 

Running Shoes at the Ready!

24th of November, 2016

We’re proud to announce that Aviva has been chosen as The Star City 2 Surf charity of choice for 2017. City 2 Surf and Aviva have both been supporting the wellbeing of Canterbury communities for over 40 years, and we are very grateful and excited to be given such a spotlight at this family-friendly, fun event.

If you are a regular participant, maybe you could consider using the City 2 Surf as a fundraising opportunity to support people overcoming family and sexual violence, and if you’ve never taken part, this might be the year to start! There are six and 14km options, and walking is perfectly acceptable.

The date to mark in your calendar is Sunday March 19, and you can use the run as a means to support Aviva in three different ways:

•    Start fundraising - Be an Aviva champion and join our ‘Sore Feet for Safer Families’ Givealittle Event as a fundraiser, or create your own personal fundraising page with Givealittle or Go Fundraise now.

•    Sponsor a friend - If you are not participating, you can still show your support by sponsoring a friend or a fundraiser registered on our ‘Sore Feet for Safer Families’ Givealittle Event page.

•    Make a Donation to Aviva – It’s super easy to make a donation when completing your online event entry, or at the Aviva Donations page.

We look forward to seeing you there and meeting you at the Aviva stand afterwards!

 

Safe, Fair and Affordable Finance

24th of November, 2016

Many people who experience family violence also experience ‘financial exclusion’ – the lack of access to banking and credit services. For people on low incomes, financial exclusion is considered to be a major factor in causing ongoing poverty.     

With Christmas soon upon us, and a new school year soon after, the next few months will be a time of real concern and worry for many people on low incomes. This year we will be able to do more than ever to support people become more financially independent and improve their wellbeing, as we are now able to extend the benefit of no and low interest credit to more people.

The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) we began offering in 2014, in partnership with the Good Shepherd NZ and Kiwibank, is now providing access to safe, fair and affordable credit of $1,000 – 2,000 to many more Cantabrians on a low income. Until recently this service was only available to clients of Aviva, or a limited number of referring partner agencies, but now, as long as people meet the criteria, NILS can accept self-referrals.

Further great news is that Aviva can now offer StepUP, a low fixed-interest loan service with no fees, offered in partnership with the Good Shepherd NZ, BNZ and Ministry of Social Development. People who meet the criteria can borrow up to $5,000 and there are no hidden charges and. Again, you can self-refer.

Affordable credit made a big difference to Shona’s life. Shona is in her late 50’s and has a number of medical issues, including epilepsy. Unexpected things had come up, such as dental issues and a broken fridge, and life was financially difficult at the time. “I tried to go to WINZ for support (with getting a new fridge) but they had recently helped with dental expenses” she says. “People suggested I go to DTR (a rental company) but the interest rates were too high. I was unwell during this time which made things even more difficult.”

In talking over options with the Salvation Army, Shona learned about Aviva and the No Interest Loan Scheme we offered. “I knew what I needed to take to the meeting, and I prepared everything I needed. Jeff from the Salvation Army worked with Kendall (from Aviva) to help things go smoothly.”

The process was quick and easy for Shona. “We all worked together; it felt relaxed and calm. Kendall was wonderful, and it only took a week for the money to come through. Aviva took away the worry and stress; you don’t have to go through lots of red tape, and they don’t make you wait. I give them top marks.”

“If there are any issues (around meeting weekly payments), I can contact Kendall and sort it out quickly. It’s not hard to make the repayments; I chose the rate, and $20 per week is really manageable.”

Shona is so positive about her experience that she has been spreading the word about NILS, taking some of Kendall’s business cards to distribute amongst the community to let more people know about the service. “It’s my way of giving back” she says.

People don’t have to be experiencing family violence to be eligible to apply for NILS or StepUP. If you or someone you know might benefit from a no or low interest loan, please visit our microfinance page to learn more about eligibility criteria and what loans can be used for.

 

Working Together for Better Family Wellbeing

24th of November, 2016

In July a new 12-month family violence response – the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) - was introduced in Canterbury as a pilot for a potential national roll-out. ISR sees core agencies such as Police, Child Youth and Family, Corrections, Health, specialist family violence NGOs and kaupapa Maori services, as well as others, work more closely together as a team to provide intensive support to high risk families.

All family violence Police attendances are referred to a multi-agency daily meeting which assigns them to various lead agencies, based on risk level, and that lead agency then prepares a safety plan, ‘tasks’ other services to provide relevant interventions, and ensures that they do so. Referrals are also received from Corrections when there is a concern of potential serious family violence harm on a prisoner’s release.  

At the beginning of June Aviva was awarded the contract to provide the high risk Independent Victim Specialist (in partnership with He Waka Tapu), and Perpetrator Outreach services component of this pilot. Uniquely, we have established a bi-cultural, co-gendered, co-located and integrated team, based at The Loft, that is able to respond to all members of the family, and provide access to He Waka Tapu’s Kaupapa Maori services where preferred. This is a great example of the integrated way of working that is actively being created in The Loft.

A key feature of ISR is that those identified as high risk of repeat severe to extreme family violence harm are immediately supported by a family violence specialist, in order to reduce the risk of further violence. Reflecting Aviva’s proactive ReachOut service, the ISR model includes an integrated and proactive response for men using, or at risk of causing, family violence harm. The new approach also has a family/whanau focus, which aims to assess and meet the whole family’s needs.

ISR has great potential to improve outcomes for those in our community using and experiencing family violence. Carol, one of the Independent Victim Specialists, explains how the new system is already creating positive change:

“Lucy* was an early referral into the ISR. Her ex had a history of violence and stalking but recently this had escalated and resulted in him driving his car at her, jamming her between her gate and house. Had she not moved quickly it could have resulted in serious injury or death. 

“The response by Police was great, with Lucy feeling well supported and informed. The Police also moved quickly to add extra charges in time for her ex’s court appearance, resulting in him being jailed for a reasonable period. Ministry of Social Development were very responsive and quickly actioned a Housing New Zealand transfer; she then received an alarm through Aviva’s safe@home service; and she was kept well informed by the court’s Victims Advisor.

“The efficient service Lucy received restored her faith in the Police and other services, and very importantly this has been witnessed by her two teenage daughters. Lucy has now completed Aviva’s Ministry of Justice approved women’s education programme and is still well engaged with us.”

As an intensive case management response, this integrated model, if rolled out across the country, could represent a significant and fundamental shift in how we respond to family violence in New Zealand. As such it has the potential to create real and sustainable change for individuals, families and communities.

*not her real name