Jane Lancaster's farewell
Jane talks about her time as a trustee at Birthright and shares her wishes for the team.
I joined as a trustee of Birthright Christchurch Inc in September 2012, and accepted the role of chair in February 2014. What a lot has happened since then! Here are some highlights for me:
Rhodora Sagles was appointed as manager in early 2015. Working with Rhodora, and seeing her passion for our families, her warmth with everyone she meets, and her huge capability in fundraising and as a manager has been one of the joys of being chair.
In June 2016 Birthright Canterbury Trust was formed by Birthright’s Ashburton and Christchurch joining together. This has been a very happy joining, and we are in a much stronger position to serve the families in Canterbury.
Our staff are committed to Birthright and to their own professional development. We have a very stable team and all our social workers are now registered with ANZASW. As funders have entrusted us with their funds, we have been able to grow our team in number and in depth. During the lockdowns we were an essential service, and I was very proud of the way our staff continued to help our families during this difficult time.
I have seen how we have supported many, many one parent families to achieve their goals. Sometimes the goals seemed so aspirational as to be almost completely unrealistic, but with time and the right support they happened. Take a look at our website* to see some beautiful, inspiring stories.
Recently, staff and trustees took time out to take stock, and look ahead and think boldly. Two main themes came out.
Firstly that we want to work more transformationally for our children and their families. We know that the circumstances that make life hard for our families continue to get harder: poverty, housing, health, finding work and loneliness. But our vision of “Nurtured, resilient and inspired children and families” reminds us to continue to be aspirational ourselves in what we believe we can achieve as a Trust. Watch this space as we step up to the challenge!
Secondly we want to be more visible, to step into the light more. We want to have a greater presence with donors and funders so that they know more about us and value what we do. We also want to ensure that the voice, needs and aspirations of single parent families are included in policy decisions at local and national level.
I joined Birthright because I loved the concept that it's every child’s right to a happy, secure and loving home environment. For single parent families this takes so much more strength and commitment. It's been an honour to have been a trustee and chair, and add my contribution to Birthright.
Thank you to my great team of trustees who bring their experience, integrity and belief in Birthright to the roles. And thank you also to the former trustees who have given time and served over the last eight years but are no longer in the roles. Fiona Robertson is taking on the chair role and I wish Fiona every joy and success as she leads the Trust into exciting times.