/We are a finalist in this year’s 2018 AMI Community Grants (Organisation category)!

We are a finalist in this year’s 2018 AMI Community Grants (Organisation category)!

MSCCT included in the 2018 AMI Community Grants.

It is exciting to announce that Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust has been included, in the 2018 AMI Community Grants. This means our organisation is now in the running for a either $6000 (grand winner) or $4000 (runner up).  We understand this is only the first round of the 2018 AMI Community Grants (Organisation category), but is huge validation of our visions!
This is validation of the great visions and possibilities that we have for our community, right across New Zealand. What can we possibly achieve in our communities when we create and share visions for our future. We were selected from hundreds of outstanding nominations from across New Zealand! We’re excited to be welcomed into the final stage – Neighbourly member voting process. So please we need as many people voting as possible, sign up to Neighbourly (if not already), look out for Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust and our Co-working space & playroom project, and the numerous workshops we have in planning so please vote and share.
While AMI carefully selected their finalists, the power is now in the hands of Neighbourly’s 545,000 members to select who they think should be walking away with some very generous financial support from our friends at AMI. https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/ami-community-grants. If you are not signed up with Neighbourly then please do; find and vote for us, “Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust and our first project being the Child friendly Co-Working space in Te Puke”.

Matariki Stars Community Charitable Trust’s first project is to establish a community co-working space with supervised playroom for Mum’s & Dads. Together with a range of social & business support network, offering a range of social and business workshops, in Te Puke, Bay of Plenty. Our aim / vision is to lift working poor out of poverty, to connect and build more sustainable and resilient communities to grow and flourish.

We aim to help increase financial literacy, economic and social well-being for every day Mums and Dads who are (self starters; entrepreneurs / in work and/or in study) working from home struggling with day to day work/life problems, demands, balance, sustainability and loneliness.

These projects are about promoting practical, positive mental health activities while building strong and sustainable economic futures. 

Our business and family lives are often inescapable. We know that it takes a community to raise a child; therefore we desperately need strong parents and families, as much as we need strong healthy businesses that allow us all to grow strong and resilient communities.

One project proposed is a series of “HERE I CARE – HAIR CARE workshops” for Dads and daughters ‘hair up – hair care’ workshops and a concurrent  Tane & Tamariki ‘hair care n cut’ series of workshops, intended to offer usable and transferable skills while connecting and building stronger relationships as a platform for strengthening mental health, fitness and well-being. Another project is a series of regular ‘courage coffee meet-ups’ & ‘share your gold type meet-ups’ where business operators can meet, share, and offer support to each other  be enable collaborative safe communities where we feel safe to share our skills or discuss solutions to struggles experienced in our ever changing social and business environments.

A bit more about our co-working space and vision.
Part of the vision of this child friendly co-working space is to enable connections and collaborative environment, opportunities to share, best practices, to collaborate, network and engage with essential business supports while offering cost-effective social & business supports that can add maximum benefits to all involved, while minimizing risks often associated with setting up and maintaining business to create sustainable work/life/family/social/health balance.
“Self employed are often lonely – Isolation from meaningful human social and business connections is frequently cited by self-employed business operators biggest contributor for mental health problems.”
 We are NOT ALONE;  There are a number of us parenting – entrepreneurs, who are connecting and collaborating with other wonderful female founders of child friendly co-working spaces around NZ, so far in Dunedin and Wellington. My aim is to inspire inclusiveness, to encourage gender, cultural and general diversity, better help all self employed and SME’s meet not only their obligatory requirements, but also more complex needs to help, grow & sustain enterprises that can be enabling, inclusive, resilient and meet the changeable capability and capacity for long term viability.  All employers require the support and infrastructure of a HR department for example, but many businesses are are often ill-equip to cope. Most SME’s may lack the systems, training, policies and procedures that larger organisations have, yet are necessary to protect them in the fast paced and complex workforce and conditions that demand that employers  offer the most optimized working environments and conditions for their workforce. We are excited to report that just this week, we engaged in a partnership with a leader in HR  & workplace specialist support services for employers, in New Zealand. “It is my opinion and experience that the single biggest reason why employers fail to scale is because of fears and inabilities to manage employment issues”.


ChildcareThere are a lot of co-working spaces popping up around the country and are growing in popularity. Most co-working spaces are located in major towns or cities and while popular, most do not cater for childcare options for more flexible and unpredictable needs to provide for children. In my experience of working as a self-employed parent, frequently working 7 days per week including out of hours, traditional childcare options do not work well, often inaccessible, and prohibitively inconvenient and expensive for most self-employed, some options are of poor quality.  My experiences have been confirmed by a number of other working parents who have visited our playroom trials recently. The online support has been very encouraging, we are also looking to engage in services from suitably trained child care agency, social support service or positive parenting group. This will offer a safety and security of knowledge and practice that children are under the same roof while being supervised, to best enable parents to take care of all the work they need to.

Point(s) of difference for this co-working space include;
  • the location is in a regional town – Te Puke, Bay of Plenty (highest growth area in NZ)
  • Grassroots bootstrapping motivated entrepreneurs
  • High seasonal work employers in kiwifruit industry
  • Generally very low average incomes in BOP around $26,000 PA
  • High flexibility of hours and days of week required
  • Increased connections and facilitation of community collaboration
  • High and complex business support needs
  • Inclusion of more holistic and inclusive social and health support needs to support mental health stresses especially in the male regional 40+ aged workforce (highest suicide rates recorded in this age group especially in the rural sector)
  • Inclusion of children for self-employed and business for Mum’s and Dad’s
  • Inclusion of familial social, educational and health supports to empower families and to enable stronger more resilient workforce
  • Progressive, sustainable living and well-being for all
  • Very high positive social and economic impacts envisioned