Every Child Counts Award winners announced

Press Release – Every Child Counts

The winners of the annual Every Child Counts Awards were announced today at a special ceremony at parliament, hosted by the Minister for Social Development, Hon Paula Bennett.Every Child Counts Award winners announced

The winners of the annual Every Child Counts Awards were announced today at a special ceremony at parliament, hosted by the Minister for Social Development, Hon Paula Bennett. The annual Every Child Counts Awards celebrate the individuals and organisations working to improve the status and wellbeing of New Zealand children.

“The Every Child Counts Awards celebrate some of the amazing work people are doing in support of children and families. We want to highlight that work and encourage others to invest themselves in working for children too. There is no work more important than this,” said Liz Gibbs, Chair of Every Child Counts.

Individual award

The winner of the Every Child Counts individual award is Verna McFelin from PILLARS, in Christchurch. Verna McFelin is the founder and Chief Executive of PILLARS, which provides support and services to youth, children and families/whanau of prisoners. Her mission is, “to work towards a crime-free society by providing support services that break the cycle of intergenerational offending and lower the rate of imprisonment”. PILLARS was established in 1988 and provides programmes focused on structured, home-based family support and one-to-one youth mentoring.

Organisational winner

The winner of the Every Child Counts organisational award is Rainbow Place – the Children & Young Peoples’ service of Hospice Waikato. Hospice Waikato is the only hospice in New Zealand to have a totally separate, designated service for children. Rainbow place has grown from small beginnings in 2003 to a case load of 300+ in 2011. The service supports children and young people who have a life limiting or life threatening illness, or who are going through change, loss and grief because of the serious illness and/or death of a loved one. They believe passionately that children are not little adults, and that they need very different and specialised support and care. Packages of care include one on one counselling, family therapy and group workshops. The team can provide art therapy, play therapy and sand play therapy to name but a few.

Every Child Counts is a coalition led by Barnardos, Plunket, UNICEF, Save the Children and Te Kahui Mana Ririki working to increase the status and wellbeing of New Zealand children. www.everychildcounts.org.nz

ENDS

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