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23 February 2018

Canterbury Charitable Hospital Trust wins Mitre 10 Community of the Year

A hospital that provides free services including a wide range of surgical procedures was last night named Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year for 2018.

The Canterbury Charitable Hospital Trust based in Christchurch provides surgery and medical care to people who are not able to access treatment through the public hospital system and do not have the financial means to use private services.  

Mitre 10 Chief Executive, Neil Cowie, says the Canterbury Charitable Hospital Trust stands out as the coming together of a community of professionals and community advocates determined to make a real difference.

“The Trust was judged the winner for its outstanding work, making what are often life-changing differences for the people using its services,” says Mr Cowie.

Since its doors opened 10 years ago, the Trust has received no government funding. It relies on donations, bequests and local business support, as well as a team of unpaid specialists supported by volunteers including nurses, technicians, receptionists and fund raisers. 

Over this time it has grown from a single day surgery unit to a complex of three two-storey buildings housing two theatres with recovery wards, consulting rooms, a twin oral surgery unit, endoscopy unit, education and community meeting rooms. 

Carl Shaw, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Charitable Hospital Trust said winning the award will help to raise the Trust’s profile at a national level and may encourage others to do the same in other regions. 

“It is also a very important way that we can acknowledge our volunteers – they are the heart and soul of what we do and without them we wouldn’t be able to offer our free services.  By the community – for the community is our mantra.”

“The award money is another step toward the costs of a new dental service for vulnerable young adults – helping them to improve self-esteem and creating more employment opportunities.  We hope the award will also highlight what a difference volunteers can make to people’s health and wellbeing and encourage volunteerism.”

The award was presented at the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards in Auckland last night and Mitre 10’s Neil Cowie also acknowledged the great contributions of the other Community of the Year finalists.

“As a co-operative of locally owned and operated stores also trying to do better for our communities, we are always conscious of the need for the type of services this year’s finalists are providing.  They demonstrate what it means to be a New Zealander and the depth of community spirit within our country.” 

Other finalists for the Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year Award were:

  • Pillars - a mentoring programme that supports children with parents in prison; and
  • Whangawehi Catchment Management Group - dedicated to protecting the quality of local waterways.

Past winners of the Community of the Year Award are: Randwick Park, Community Fruit Harvest, the town of Paihia, Victim Support, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ, the town of Paeroa, Gibbston Community Association of Central Otago and the Victory Village.