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Charity begins at home in the North Shore.

Auckland Foundation has created a charitable fund focusing on the North Shore and some prominent locals are supporting it.

A founding member of the advisory group on the North Shore Fund is Judy Bailey, longtime resident of Birkenhead. She is involved, she says, because she likes the approach of community-directed and -funded giving.

“Auckland is a collection of villages and we need to focus on our village,” says Judy. “It’s easier to make informed decisions when you live in the area that you’re gifting to.”

And she says there is plenty to direct money into on the North Shore.

“There’s an increasing disparity between people who have a lot and people who have very little, so this is a way of redressing the balance from the grass roots up,” she says. “We live in paradise. But there are too many of our kids growing up in violence, too many are going hungry, too many are neglected.

“There are extremes – we have a lot of very wealthy people but we also have a lot of people who are struggling, a lot of young families and I would love to see them being supported more.

“This gap that we have between rich and poor is not good for anybody. 

"We really need to focus on the family, on relationships and looking after each other.”

Judy wants to see the fund address the needs of families who may be struggling and in need of support. That help could come through initiatives that support those not just in financial poverty but people at vulnerable times of their lives. It may come in the form of support for young parents, elderly people and youth in the region.

The fund is starting small, with $25,000 being granted in 2017 and another portion being left in a managed fund to accrue interest and grow as an endowment.

“We’re starting with next to nothing but if everybody thinks about it and perhaps puts aside a small percentage of their wealth into the fund then we could make huge gains really quickly,” says Judy.

Other members of the fund’s advisory group are North Shore residents Joseph Bergin, Geoff Clews, Diane Hale, Buck Shelford and Chris Reeve.

As an Auckland Foundation sub-fund, it is set up to be as efficient as possible and there is no need for duplication of infrastructure.

“The glorious thing about this is you can have an interest in an organisation and you can direct where the money is to be spent. But the foundation will do all the research and governance around that so that you can be assured that your money is going to be well spent. The fund is a perfect way for people to create a legacy to benefit generations to come.”

Judy is no stranger to lending her profile to a community cause. Patron of Hospice New Zealand and Women’s Refuge and a trustee of Brainwave Trust, she clearly believes in the importance of giving to your community.

We are known to be generous as a nation, she says.

“I remember when we were doing Telethons all those years ago, New Zealanders were per capita, the greatest givers in the world. We do care.

“So it’s just a matter of tapping into that and getting people to realise that even small amounts can accrue to be big amounts. And you can make a real difference. The Foundation is a vehicle for making that happen.

“And it’s a real joy to have a stake in your community.”

To donate or find out more about the North Shore Fund, please contact Liam Willis.

027 627 4048

liam@aucklandfoundation.org.nz