To support young parents to have, keep and parent their children.
To support young parents to live a life of confident hope and create a positive future for their children.
As long as it takes....
My working life has been focused mainly on teenagers and young adults, then infants and toddlers. As an Early Childhood Teacher, I know how important those first 3 years are in creating the foundations for childhood, and adult life. Having fostered children, I know first-hand the need some families have for safe, consistent support. Therefore, I am excited to be managing Rachel’s House Trust, supporting and educating young parents to have, keep and parent their precious tamariki well.
I have a lot of experience working in not-for-profit organisations; as a trustee, staff member and volunteer. Being creative and well organised, I enjoy hosting and facilitating events, as well as catering for large numbers. I love gardening, so use my flowers to give joy to many, and my home-grown fruit and veg are preserved and cooked into meals we share with others. I enjoy passing these skills on too, so have recently taught cooking classes within the community.
With my skill-set and the incredible way Rachel’s House Trust helps transform lives, I’m looking forward to introducing the wider community to our work, so we can help more vulnerable families, whilst giving opportunities to others to be involved by giving gifts, practical help, time, experience or money. For together we can make a difference.
I live in North Canterbury. I am married with four children. As a trained primary teacher and mother, I know the importance of support for young families. I am passionate about seeing families having the opportunity to thrive, belong and contribute to our local community.
The Trust’s greatest resource is our volunteer base of well-trained individuals from the community who give their time, experience and skills to young families. Rachel’s House Trust currently has a pool of 18 volunteers who are counsellors, preschool teachers, primary teachers, nurses, social services graduates and midwives.
The volunteers support clients, provide one on one mentoring and participate in a fortnightly playgroup and connect group and help with sorting, cleaning and storing baby items. Our volunteers give hours of their own time each month. That is 1428 hours volunteered this year! Our paid staff also volunteer their time above their paid hours, as the agency is growing.
We appreciate every moment, every hour that our faithful volunteers give.
The Rachel's House Trust Board is made up of skilled individuals who have backgrounds in social justice, teaching, training, local council involvement and the NGO sector.
Hi my name is Sandra and I am the chair person on the Rachels House Trust Board. I have lived in Rangiora for the last fifteen years with my husband Mike and our now 4 adult children.
My passion and heart is for social justice, social change and to support people in their own personal growth. This is a role that I am able to complete along side my role with the community development work I do for the Hope Community Trust.
I truly believe all children deserve the very best start in life despite their circumstances and that there is always hope.
My name is Georgina, I’m married to Tomohiro and we have a daughter, Aki and son Eikou. We are also grandparents to Aki's daughter Micah. The majority of my working life was spent in Japan covering various roles while working with Youth With a Mission. I took part in setting up an NGO organization that supported young women in Japan who found themselves with unplanned pregnancies in a society that did not accept single parent hood. Unplanned pregnancies were seen as bringing great shame to the entire family and would more often than not subject the woman to an entire life of rejection and poverty. Therefore the majority of unplanned pregnancies in single women ended in either abortion or abandonment. That organization succeeded in saving the lives of hundreds of children by offering the alternative of adoption, in the process saving the lives of their mothers. My primary role was in supporting the young mothers as the made the loving decisions for their children.
Since returning to New Zealand I retrained in administration, which is how I became involved with Rachel's House Trust Board of Trustees and as my heart is still to see the very best for children and their entire whānau I am excited to move into this position of trustee to offer my skills to support the work of this awesome team.
My name is Donna and I’ve lived in North Canterbury all my life and in Rangiora for the past 35 years. With my husband Kevin, we have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. For over 40 years we have fostered many children from babies to teenagers. During this time we gained Residential Social Work Certificates and had training in many areas relating to the many and varied ways children come to need foster care and helping the children to move on in the circumstances that have brought them into care.
For this reason, I totally support the work being carried out by Rachel’s House Trust in supporting mothers to be able to care for and value their children in their own homes and be supported by their mentors or other support workers on an individual basis.
I’m looking forward to moving forward with the Boards plan to have an actual house in the future as I see the need for emergency accommodation for Mums/families in crises situations and also have the opportunity to support and teach parents skills that will help keep their children with them at these times.
Dr. Heather Parker (BScHons, PhD)
Hi my name is Heather. I have a heart for the work of Rachel’s House Trust as a result of my own personal experience when I became pregnant shortly after leaving school at the age of 16. My family and I were overseas at the time and I remained overseas while my family returned home. It was a lonely and difficult time being a young mum away from my parents and friends. If I could have had access to an organisation like Rachel’s House Trust it would have been such a help.
I have two sons, now adults, whom I raised single-handedly. When my boys started school, I had the opportunity to continue my education. I began by studying horticulture and worked in the industry for several years. Then at the age of 34, I started University and obtained an Honours degree in Science and a PhD in Health Sciences. For the last 13 years I have worked as a Medical Research Scientist at the University of Otago Christchurch. I have experienced first hand how education opens doors and lifts people out of poverty. Rachel’s House Trust seeks to help young parents not only with parenting skills and practical support but also with encouragement and support for them to return to education. I believe this is a very important aspect of the work of Rachel’s House Trust.
I have been living in North Canterbury since 2012 and joined the Board of Trustee’s at Rachel’s House Trust late 2020. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of Rachel’s House Trust.