In the early days of The Christchurch Aunties, there was Heather M's single garage in Woolston, a vision shared with our early board members Heather L, Andrea, Karen, and Sarah, and a whole lot of number 8 wire. But The Christchurch Aunties would not exist if it wasn't for 'H' - a whaiora who moved to Christchurch in 2014 to escape violence.
Fast forward a few years, and Heather M was coordinating Christmas campaigns and general toiletry supplies for Te Whare Hauora and Battered Women's Trust. Then a decision was made to Make This A Proper Thing. Heather L joined the team, a bank account was set up, Trust documents were started, a domain name purchased and suddenly we were fancy. Reetah (Casino Court Motor Lodge) and Andrea (The Mohair Store) came on board as drop-off points.
Operating from our lounges, Cam's top bunk, and a friend's garage until we leased the 'Aunties Attic'. Organised chaos.
Over the past 4 years, we've moved from our garages and lounges, to the Aunties Attic and now to the big HQ. We started working with 2 women's refuges. Then with 4 women's refuges and the YWCA. We now supply donations to FIFTEEN organisations (even more at Christmas). We're getting big, but our vision remains the same: A Canterbury where all women and children who have experienced family violence or vulnerability, are safe, well supported and resourced through organisations that we collaborate with.
The Heathers and Elise moving into the Attic 2018, and moving out 2021