This adorable little fellow is Bertie. He’s the resident therapy dog at the Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC) office in Wellington’s CBD. Last week, Bertie and the rest of the (human) team at WRC moved to a bigger, better office that will allow them to serve more people in a safe, confidential, private space. As is the case whenever people shift house, making the new place feel homey and inviting can take a bit of effort. We chatted to Kyla Rayner, Agency Manager at Wellington Rape Crisis about their PledgeMe Project campaign and how you can help Bertie and his coworkers.
Why do you think this campaign is important?
Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC) has been supporting survivors of sexual violence in the Wellington community for 40 years. Over time our services have grown – we now offer free of charge social work and counselling services, operate a no appointments drop in centre and work alongside different community projects aiming to end violence in Aotearoa.
For the past 10 years we have lived at Southmark House on Willis St – but as we have seen a steady growth in demand for our services the time has come to move into a larger, more purpose built space.
It can incredibly hard for survivors to access our service, and the journey towards healing and wellness can be a difficult road that looks different for everyone. One thing that can help ease this process is the space that we invite people into. We wanted a space that works for our clients and our staff; a space that inspires change, hope and healing.
What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?
WRC has survived 40 years of service with the aroha and support of our community. We are constantly heartened and encouraged by the support we receive through fundraising; which ultimately allows us to keep our doors open. Government funding contributes to just over half of our operational costs and we rely on grants, council support and our community to cover the rest. In order to achieve the beautiful space that we envision for our clients we need to look to our community to help us once again.
We often focus all our income on providing direct support to the people who walk through our doors – and have little money left for things such as new desks for our offices, furniture and décor for our counselling rooms and the many other things (both big and small) that we know could really enhance our space and the way in which our clients experience our service. With your generosity, we know we can reach our goal of having an office space that reflects and supports the journey to wellbeing which all our clients are on.
What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?
We are excited to get in touch with the people who have donated to share our progress in our new office. You can also find updates on our Facebook page (Wellington RapeCrisis) Instagram & Twitter (@wgtnrapecrisis) or website (www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz).
This office move also coincides with our Annual Street Appeal – if a financial donation is out of reach for you at this time but you are still keen to support our mahi, we would love for you to sign up to collect on our appeal day on Thursday the 28th of March. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to register – even an hour of your time will make a huge impact on our collection day!
Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?
We are so incredibly grateful to our community for supporting our service and showing commitment to creating a world free from sexual violence and the harm it causes. All donations, big and small, enable us to continue to do this vital work which makes a real and meaningful difference to the survivors we walk alongside.