Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Appeal to support family violence services in Chch

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

This weekend over 130 volunteers will be showing their support for people living with and overcoming family violence by taking part in the annual Aviva street appeal.

Aviva (formerly Christchurch Women’s Refuge) and their supporters are out on the streets to raise part of the million dollars they must generate each year in order to provide frontline services to children, women and men living with family violence in Canterbury. This year money raised will go to services such as the 0800 AVIVA NOW phone line. This free support and information line has experienced huge increase in demand since the February 2011 earthquake, when calls increased by 50%; that elevated level of demand has been sustained ever since.

"The Support and Information Line is often the first step that many people take towards a violence-free future and it can be the first point of contact they have with us, or any support service" says Aviva Marketing and Funding Manager Julie McCloy. "Women and men who want to change their lives and those of their children for the better, or their family members, friends and colleagues all use this number to call us for support or advice, and approximately 30% of our clients refer themselves into our service through the 0800 line. It is an essential support service but one for which we receive no funding."

In the last 12 months almost 3,200 calls for support have come through the 0800 AVIVA NOW (0800 28482 669) number. Family Support Workers answer the phone line during office hours and in the evening and weekends calls are answered by rostered staff who support Safe House clients. Through the 0800 number they provide support, information, education and appropriate referrals to Aviva’s and other agencies’ services.

"The 0800 number is a real lifeline for many people" says McCloy, "and it’s a safe way to reach out when people are unsure about their next step because calls can be anonymous. It’s so important that we offer this as a free service because for many people, the cost of what is often a lengthy call from a cell phone or rural area can be barrier to making that call. We choose to absorb those costs because the most important thing is to ensure that the support we can offer is accessible to everyone who might need it."

It costs Aviva approximately $1.7 million to offer its current range of family violence services throughout Canterbury; only 40% of that is funded through government contracts and the remainder must be raised from other sources.

Aviva’s appeal details: Friday 16 and Saturday 17 May throughout Christchurch, Rangiora Kaiapoi, Amberley and Rolleston. Donate online at www.avivafamilies.org.nz

Contact Aviva by calling 0800 AVIVA NOW (0800 28482 669), free phone 24-hours a day.

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.