Throughout the year, the New Zealand Red Cross brings former refugee families into the Wellington and Manawatu regions, and together with the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, our diocese supports the collection of household items and the set up of houses where the families will live – so that when they arrive, they immediately feel welcomed and at home.

Together with our friends at ChangeMakers Refugee Forum, we also work in other ways to support the successful settling of former refugees into their new life here in New Zealand.

If you or your parish, school or community group can help in any of these areas, please contact Patricia Cooper on , or for the ChangeMakers initiative, contact ChangeMakers directly.

Fundraise for household items

Every intake, there are the odd few items that need to be purchased by the diocese to top up the households we are collecting for.  Your parish, school or workplace might like to run a fundraiser as a way of gathering your community together, having some fun, and donating money to the diocesan refugee resettlement account.

If you’d like to do this, donations can be made via internet banking to:

  • Account name: Anglican Diocese of Wellington
  • Account Number: 01-0535-0089638-28
  • Reference: 999.568
  • Particulars: REF

We’d love to know what exciting activities you’ve got planned for your fundraiser, so we can inspire others.  So please share your stories with our diocesan Communications Advisor, Duncan Brown, on

Collect household items

Your parish, school or community group can be assigned a family or families to collect household items for.  You’ll be given a list of specific items needed, and asked to collect these items – either through the donation of used items or fundraising and purchase of new items.  Then, on the date required, your group drops the items off at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul (or arranges delivery) so they can be sorted for set up.

If you can’t do an entire household, consider banding together with another parish from your cluster, other local churches, or perhaps your workmates or other networks that you are a part of.

Please note: it is important to follow the list exactly.  There is no storage space for extra items.  Your list will give you guidance on how best to present your items – for example, you will be asked to ensure that vacuum cleaners are clean with an empty bag inside them.

Contact: Patricia Cooper,

Sort household items

Once all the items are collected, we need people to sort them into prescribed household lots.  This takes place on the Monday and Tuesday of each intake, starting each day with morning tea and introductions at 9:45am.  It involves checking items for appropriateness (like no toy guns et cetera), ensuring everything is there, and packing it up ready for collection.  It’s perfect if you’ve got time during the day and can manage a short burst of activity, once every couple of months (or just when you can manage it).  Morning and afternoon tea and lunch are provided.

Contact: Patricia Cooper,

House set up

If you’ve got a couple of evenings during the intake dates, you can volunteer to set up a home with donated household goods for the former refugee family to enjoy when they move in the next day.  It’s incredibly satisfying creating a stable home for a family that has known such instability.

House set up volunteers work in teams of four, and need to undergo Red Cross training – but once you’ve done it, you don’t need to do it again.  This happens from about 6pm – 7:30pm on the Tuesday of Intake Week, before you collect your household items and store them until Thursday.

On set up night, which is Thursday of Intake Week, volunteers take the items to the house and work as a team to make beds, stock the pantry, unpack and set up all the household items ready for use in the house set aside for the former refugee family.  Most groups like to leave a small welcome present, like a bunch of flowers.

On Friday morning, the Red Cross volunteer meets the family at the airport, takes them to their new home, and supplies fresh fruit and vegetables, and toiletries.

Contact: Patricia Cooper,

Become a Red Cross volunteer and work with former refugee families

Red Cross volunteers are the next step up from our diocesan house set up work.  They are a friendly face and supportive guide. After training, volunteers begin their placement with a newly arrived family or individual. They work in teams to provide support and often find they become good friends with their team members. Teams are decided upon volunteer availability. Red Cross also tries to match people with complimentary skills.

To find out more, visit the New Zealand Red Cross website.

Help former refugee women gain their NZ driver licence

ChangeMakers Refugee Forum is running a project to help former refugee women to get their driver licences, and they need women to volunteer to help them practice their skills.

Each driver has gained their learner licence, has had professional driving lessons, and provides their own car – what they need is a friendly and helpful Kiwi woman to guide them as they undergo practice before sitting their full licence.  Volunteers receive training to undertake this important task, and can choose between Porirua, Hutt or Wellington drivers.

If you are in one of those areas and have a place on your church noticeboard, please consider displaying this poster will pull off tabs.

You can also view the following resources:

Contact: Naomi Tocher,, 04 801 5812

Donate to CWS Rohingya refugee appeal

CWS has launched an appeal to raise money to support an estimated 1.2 million people now affected by the genocide and exodus of the Rohingya people from Rakhine State in Myanmar.  Anglican Missions encourages us all to consider how we might support this appeal.  To read the story on Movement Online, click here, or go straight to the CWS page by clicking here.

Take the Operation Refugee challenge

Christian World Service has launched Operation Refugee 2018, a five day challenge to live on the same food as in a refugee emergency food parcel.

This year’s challenge runs from June 16-20.  Operation Refugee Lite is a two day version designed for students.

Once a participant raises $87 – enough to pay for a good quality food parcel in Jordan for a family of six – CWS will send a Food Box containing lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, fish (which can be traded if participants are vegan or vegetarian), flour, vegetable oil and salt.  Participants supply their own rice and earn fresh vegetables and other ingredients by meeting fundraising goals.

CWS is fundraising for the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon with whom it has worked since 1949.  Part of the Middle East Council of Churches, DSPR has been providing emergency food and clothing, education, medical care and education to refugees from Syria since the conflict began seven years ago.

Parishes are encouraged to support Syrian refugees on Refugee Sunday on the 1st of July.  Worship resources will be available mid-May.

More information is available at or contact David Lawson or 021 671 430.

Here are the intake dates for 2018:

  • Sunday 25th February to Thursday 1st March
  • Sunday 22nd April to Thursday 26th April
  • Sunday 17th June to Thursday 21st June
  • Sunday 12th August to Thursday 16th August
  • Sunday 7th October to Thursday 11th October
  • Sunday 2nd December to Thursday 6th December
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