Z Business Good Sorts: Building Safer Communities
Business February 23, 2023
Good sorts are those people who get out there and make a difference. There’s no more accurate description for Angela from Building Safer Communities, a non-profit organisation based in Kaitaia. It was a lucky sausage roll that helped them score one of the $10,000 Get Summer Sorted cash prizes, and here’s why they’ve been chosen as our Z Business Good Sorts.
Q: So Angela, can you tell us a bit about Building Safer Communities?
A: We started over 30 years ago in Kaitaia in the Far North as a fully funded crime prevention initiative – primarily to encourage young people to stay off the streets and into work, and essentially to do what we could to keep young people in school.
As time's gone on, because of our unique smallness, we’re able to really adapt to what the community needs and develop our programmes to suit. Like, our new road safety programmes, where we do free driving lessons with our fully qualified driving instructor, funded by Sky City and Waka Kotahi.
Q: What other kind of community programmes do you run?
A: We have Indigo House, ACC funded support for victims and survivors of sexual abuse and violence. We’ve currently got 40 therapists working across the country from Northland to Otago.
We also run Youth Innovations, which empowers the youth in our community with things like getting them ready for work, teaching them about their culture and immersing them in the community to make them proud to be a part of it.
We also still work closely with the police as part of our crime prevention initiative. In fact, we have an alarm monitoring company. Every alarm we monitor contributes towards the costs of someone monitoring the cameras which are housed at the local police station. The programme was so successful, within the first three months of the project there was a 60% decrease in business crime.
Q: So you’re mostly based in the Far North, but what other places do you help out?
A: We try to stay in the Far North. However, by word of mouth, we've had to expand. So now we're across the nation in Whanganui, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown.
We wouldn't go any further as we don’t fully know the community intricacies like we do in our region. It's really important when you’re a social service provider to know the area and the community well. So even though some of our projects stem nationwide, some of them are just local and will only ever stay local because of the way that they're intended.
Q: You said earlier you have a driving programme at Building Safer Communities – is it handy being a Z Business customer to get discounts and rewards?
A: Yes, we’ve been a customer since September 2021. We have a fleet of five cars and two large vans that we use to run our Oscar holiday programme for 5-13 year olds, where we take kids around local spots to do activities.
We also have two youth leaders who help run that programme as well. So it all intermingles with the driving programme. We have a couple of cars for taking people out for driving lessons, but those cars are used heavily, even though it’s only short trips around the area.
Q: What’s the most valuable part of being a Z Business customer in your opinion?
A: I like the flexibility, and that your pricing and your discounts are automatically allocated. Plus, the billing. Quite simply, just everything about the way Z Business works with you is just so simple.
But I mostly liked that when we were looking for a fuel company – because of where we drive – we needed to make sure that where we went, which is sometimes all the way down to Whangarei, that there were stops that made it easy for our team to fill up.
Q: What was the reaction to the news you’d won one of the $10,000 Get Summer Sorted cash prizes – and from just a sausage roll?
A: I thought it was quite funny – I'm being teased in the office at the moment. But my response was, “Are you kidding me? Are you serious?” I mean I am partial to a sausage roll.
We’ll use the money to start developing our new youth centre which is designed by youth for youth. It’ll also be a safe place where our youth community can come together.
It'll also go back into our fuel budget, so it'll help pay for those driving lessons and for our Oscar holiday programme so that they can do amazing little away trips.
To find out more about the work Building Safer Communities do, visit: buildingsafercommunities.co.nz