Energy Retailers, Lynne and Kevin Burns, operate three Southland Z service stations - two in Invercargill and one in Gore, employing 30 Southlanders. As a Kiwi company, Z believes it has a responsibility to give back to the communities it operates in.
Their commitment to doing that, as well as their belief that basketball brings the community together, are the reasons the Burns are getting behind The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks. Z is sponsoring a partnership between four local charities and The Sharks, to help raise the profile of the four awesome groups below, who are helping people in need in Southland while also giving those people involved in the groups the chance to interact with the Sharks players.
Koha Kai is an innovative and award winning Charitable Trust which works with people who live with the challenges of disability, teaching skills to support them towards open employment. Koha Kai works alongside people in an environment where their learning supports the wider community, demonstrating in real terms the value of diversity within their community.
Kia Kai has two areas of focus. The Maara Kai team - who grow fruit and vegetables in spray and pesticide free gardens, and the Hospitality Team - who use that produce to cook hot, hearty, nutritious lunches for Tamariki in Kohanga and Kura around Invercargill.
Koha Kai has transformed the lives of Disabled Whanau and encouraged them to change from being among the highest users of Social Services, to being willing volunteers and providers of social services in our community.
Gore Women’s Refuge
Gore Women’s refuge is comprised of a small close team of staff and volunteers who cover a large geographical area. Their Vision is: Refuge is the catalyst for families and whanau to live free from violence, to empower families and whanau to be safe from violence by encouraging healthy relationships. Their Mission Statement is: A violence free community.
Gore Women’s Refuge works closely with individuals and their families and walk alongside them, through their journeys , offering encouragement and support whenever required. They have a 24 hour crisis line, which is possible due to our dedicated staff and volunteers and run programmes for women and children who have been impacted by family violence.
To achieve this vision and mission statement Gore Women’s Refuge works closely and collaboratively with communities and enlist the help and support of those able to support the organisation. Only partially funded , they appreciate all donations and support received , to assist their work with those who need it within the community.
Special Olympics Southland
Special Olympics Southland offers a year-round programme of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Based in Invercargill, they have around 80 athletes participating in regular weekly training and competition in athletics, basketball, powerlifting, swimming, ten pin bowling, indoor bowls, and rowing.
While Special Olympics Southland is first and foremost a sports organisation, it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. It’s about fun, friendship and team spirit; it’s about a feeling of belonging, and ultimately improving quality of life.
Autism New Zealand provides support, information and training to the 50,000 New Zealanders on the autism spectrum, and their whānau, teachers, employers and other community members. Autism New Zealand’s vision is: “Empowering people living with autism”. The range of services offered are designed to build resilient, self-sufficient communities – enabling people with autism to support themselves, and parents/whānau to best support their child.
Autism Southland supports anyone who would like information, support or resources. They have a great range of books, Dvds and games that are free for anyone to borrow. Each term Autism Southland has free family fun event where activities such as : Invercargill Gym Club, Museum, movies with sensory screenings are presented in a lights up, sound down environment and each year we have a Christmas Party. Each child that attends receives a present as often many children with autism do not get invited to parties. There are support groups in Gore, Queenstown, and Te Anau.
Autism Southland also runs a LEGO Club which is a social skills club where children play and build with LEGO learning social skills like turn taking, giving instructions, listening at instructions and having fun.
The SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks are pleased to be able to have a role in the Southland Basketball Association’s coaching programme. This includes making themselves available to visit schools, take part in camps and clinics and support the representative programme. The players also help to support BBNZ programmes and act as mentors and role models for Southland youth.
This year Sharks Basketball is again supporting school initiatives to get Southland children to a Sharks game.
The Hits is running a Noise Squad video competition where a whole class wins the chance to attend a Sharks game and form a guard of honour welcoming the team on the court.
Each year the SIT Zero Fees Southland Sharks support one charity by taking a collection at a selected home game. In the past we have supported:
Westpac Helicopter Appeal
St Johns Ambulance
Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand
We have also supported in a variety of ways:
Healthy Families Invercargill
Kids Day Out
Gore Youth Awards
Give Kids a Chance
Brain Injured Children's Trust
Rape and Abuse Support Centre Southland
Autism New Zealand
Dan Davin Literary Foundation
Various Rotary Club fundraisers