Aviva Street Appeal Cancelled

Donate Today: Protect children and families still suffering the effects of lockdown.

Vulnerable people across Canterbury, affected by family and sexual violence, are still struggling to cope with the effects of New Zealand’s lockdown earlier this year.

While for some people, life returned to a new version of normal after lockdown, at Aviva we can clearly see how the pandemic continues to take its toll on so many. Despite our essential service workers working tirelessly throughout lockdown and beyond, our data shows that need remains high:

  • by the end of lockdown, our waitlist of families needing help had increased 150% 
  • the family violence walk-in service, which also operates from The Loft, received double its number of average monthly visitors in June, after the lockdown was lifted
  • 3 months on, our 24-hour support line is still receiving 30% more calls than before

Aviva’s General Manager of Operations, Gwenda Kendrew, says this is, “sad but not  surprising. During major crises like this one, people don’t always reach out straight away. Instead they go into survival mode, until they just can’t anymore. That’s when they reach out. What’s more, the lockdown, along with all of this uncertainty and financial insecurity has elevated tensions in homes. That doesn’t just go away once lockdown is over.”

Recently Aotearoa, Auckland in particular, has had a nasty reminder of the pervasiveness of this pandemic, with Covid-19 returning to our shores. Before this, the lockdown may have felt like a distant memory to some people, but here at Aviva we never stopped feeling its impact. Despite this, we were planning to go ahead with our annual street appeal in September. Hundreds of people signed up to volunteer and were ready to collect at various locations across Canterbury. However, following the virus’ recent resurgence, we have decided to cancel this fundraising drive.

“The greatest irony is that the effects of this pandemic mean we desperately need to fundraise more than ever”, says Gwenda. “But it’s stymied our ability to. We decided this week to cancel our appeal. While we could have gone ahead, and we do need the funds, if there’s even a risk that one of our activities could contribute to another outbreak, we just couldn’t conscience that. Not when we’ve seen and felt the hidden costs to children and families from this virus.”

However, Aviva is still hoping that while we’re unable to run our appeal as we normally would, members of the community will still be inspired to support us in any way they can. We have moved our appeal online, so people can donate without putting themselves and our volunteers at risk. We are also encouraging people to run their own mini fundraisers during the month of September if they can. 

If you would like to help, or make a donation, please visit appeal2020.aviva.org.nz.


About Aviva:

Aviva’s services support over 1200 people every year across Canterbury every year to create safer, healthier personal relationships and overcome the enduring effects of family and/or sexual violence.



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