Winter is Coming: Salvation Army sees thousands in new need

Published: Mon 19 Jun 2017 09:46 AM
Winter is Coming: Salvation Army sees thousands in new need
The demands of winter have seen thousands of Kiwis who don’t normally need help coming to The Salvation Army.
For many New Zealanders winter hardship is a very real and scary prospect. The pressures of high heating bills and illness see more people needing help over winter, says Salvation Army head of Social Services Major Pam Waugh.
From July to September last year The Salvation Army saw 1392 people a month seeking help for the first time or the first time in a long time.
This comes on the back of a report last week from Statistics New Zealand showing vegetable prices have risen to their highest level in six years (up 31% from last May), making eating healthy in winter even more difficult.
In response to the extra demands of winter the Army is asking New Zealanders to help out those struggling with the basics of warmth, food and shelter, through its winter appeal.
The appeal will support the Army to provide both urgent and long-term assistance in families and individuals in crisis, by meeting their immediate needs and providing people with the tools needed to prepare for the winters ahead.
Often those in greatest need over winter are people who are surviving week to week during the rest of the year, but who are unable to meet the extra demands of the colder months, Pam says.
‘Many people we see are living week to week and they’ve got anything from 10 cents to $10 left over once their bills and expenses are paid. It’s not that they haven’t planned well, but there’s just not enough when winter hits.’
This is particularly felt in families, and over the past three winters the number of children the Army has helped has risen from 16,127 to 18,949, a 17% increase.
In addition to helping people find food, warmth and shelter when the storms hit, a lot of work goes into preparing for winter during the year, Pam says.
‘We had a woman come to us who’d been forced out by her husband and was left homeless with three kids. We started by getting her into emergency housing, then we helped her get a long-term home and supported her with counselling, budgeting and life-skills, so she could restart her life.’
For the past three winters the number of people needing food and practical assistance from The Salvation Army across the country has largely remained stable, while the number of people receiving budgeting and counselling has risen steadily.
‘It’s about finding the hope that’s going to help them get sorted for the future. Sometimes situations looks hopeless – but they’re not, there’s always something we can find to help people,’ Pam says.
To help New Zealanders shelter from the storm this winter you can donate online at or by phoning 0800 53 00 00. For further statistics see attached file.
Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Andy Westrupp (Territorial Commander)
The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory

Next in New Zealand politics

Regional fuel tax for Auckland a step closer
By: New Zealand Government
Waikato DHB investigation findings
By: State Services Commission
Explainer: Why you should care about Cambridge Analytica
Initiative to boost teacher supply extended
By: New Zealand Government
High Court Decision on Dotcom v AG on Obama request
By: New Zealand High Court
Practice Guidelines to support disabled people into work
By: New Zealand Government
Amendments proposed to forestry rights screening regime
By: New Zealand Government
Govt handing Akl Council the ‘tax and spend’ keys
By: New Zealand National Party
National urges Aucklanders to submit on fuel tax
By: New Zealand National Party
Regional fuel tax a nonsense
By: Road Transport Forum
Auckland fuel tax a step closer
By: Auckland Council
Nigel Murray saga: DHB board member believes more money owed
Stern warning to DHBs about spending but...
By: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
Lessons for Waikato DHB out of report
By: New Zealand Government
Waikato DHB Responds to SSC Report
By: Waikato District Health Board
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media