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Who Are You When You’re at Home? The Feel Good Edition

Because our residents are as interesting when working as they are at rest, this new series explores their lives, dreams, side projects and insights. Compiled by GridAKL community co-ordinator Casey. First up is the feel good edition, all about charity, support and community … 

Name: Victoria Puxty 
Company: 90 Seconds TV
Title: Success Manager

The Crusade: 
Breast Cancer Awareness, Auckland City Mission. 

What do you do?
‘I have spent years volunteering for a number of places including the City Mission and the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. I have cooked and spent Christmases at the Mission, and you will find me out on the street shaking buckets for breast cancer every May. I also hold breakfast and dinner parties to fundraise and most recently, I cut off my hair to donate for a wig! 

Why? Tell us about a moment that made you feel awesome:
Breast Cancer is a cause that is really close to my heart, as my beautiful Aunty Jan is still going through her treatment today – 5 years after losing both her breasts to cancer. She never lets it faze her though, and is one of the warmest and most loving women I have ever met. I admire her strength and it makes me love to give back and always more than happy to help. 

Learn more about the City Mission and how you can help by clicking here 

Learn more about Breast Cancer Awareness and how you can help by clicking here 


Name: Ruby Gill
Company: Cloud M
Title: Editor

The Crusade:
Spent 4 years volunteering for Hum Salon/ Falling Apple Trust on Grafton Bridge. Now working on Utopian Crafts, her own little social enterprise with her partner. 

What do you do?
Volunteering for Hum Salon/ Falling Apple Trust was centred around helping to run the community centre, coffee hut, arts and events, managing other volunteers – basically whatever was needed to cater to the vulnerable within our community. We provide a supportive and creative space that is open to everyone. My partner and I are now working on our own thing, providing access to art, crafts, 3D printing/ future technologies, classes and space to the wider community, hoping to influence as many people as we can. 

Why? Tell us about a moment that made you feel awesome:
I do this work because I truly believe that no man is an island and that everyone should be voluntarily involved in their communities in order to make the world a better place. I have witnessed individuals who give everything up and work so hard to help other people or the environment, and they wouldn’t have to if every person played their little part. 

While I was locking up Hum after a fundraiser one night at about 3am (exhausted) I heard some young men arguing near the fence. One of them had cut himself badly and was extremely agitated and suicidal, and his friend was at a loss for what to do – he just couldn’t deal anymore. I couldn’t call an ambulance because of the hurt mans threats, but sat and spoke with him until about 6am (long after his friend had given up and gone home). It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with, but I finally got through to him, and we walked together to the hospital where the orderlies took over. The skills that I had learnt in dealing with vulnerable people through my time at Hum were invaluable in this situation, and when I saw the same young man smiling and happy with friends at a later date, I felt so grateful that I had been able to help him.


Name: Yas Greenslade 
Company: Cloud M
Title: GM, Client Services

The Crusade:
Auckland Dyspraxia Trust 

What do you do?
I collect surplus bread from Bakers Delight every Wednesday and re-distribute to families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet, for whatever reason. I starting helping with this after I got talking to a woman one evening who was running short on help and was about to do the entire run on her own. I offered to help that night, and the next week she called to ask if I could come and help again – she is not the 70+ year old one says no to! With the help of my family and friends, we now run Wednesday nights at Bakers Delight Pinehill. We have a group from Auckland Dyspraxia Trust that we deliver to, as well as other vulnerable families that have been brought to our attention by either local school principals or the Albany grapevine. 

Why? Tell us about a moment that made you feel awesome
Really, I love the satisfaction of knowing that what we do allows some families to provide breakfast, lunch or dinner to their kids, when they may not have been able to. My feel good moment came big time when we were able to help a family with 5 kids get through a really tough time. A student at my daughters school was in an accident and we started delivering bags of bread to help his mum feed the many visitors who were coming to sit by his bed day in and day out. We have continued to support this family, as the son is still in hospital paralysed from the chest down, and mum has had to give up her job to take care of him. I shed a tear when I got a call from his younger sister who is 13 or 14 years old, thanking me and telling me just how much help the bread was for them, as she was able to do her part and make lunches for everyone.

Name: Craig de Stigter
Company: Koordinates
Title: Python Magician/ Developer 

The Crusade:
I volunteer for Brothers in Arms, which is an organisation that hooks up youth with adult mentors. Young people usually between 10-13 years old are referred into the program by their social workers. 

What do you do?
I committed to hanging out with my mentee for several hours a week for at least a year. We hang out mostly on the weekend, and just whatever – e.g. computer games, hiking, cooking, rock climbing, even gardening etc. We are now about 7 months in, and both really enjoy it. 

Why? Tell us about a moment that made you feel awesome:
I got into this gig initially because my wife did it a few years back, and I saw first-hand the positive impact she was having with her mentee and family. Its a really unique opportunity to make a difference to someones life, just by being there and present and giving another person a bit of your time and energy. My mentee started off with really vulgar language and was initially quite hard to spend hours with, as he wanted to be kept entertained all of the time and refused to participate and do any work (like dishes) etc. After 7 months of seeing us stick with him, he has come to really respect my wife and I and is actually really keen to help us out wherever possible. His generous and compassionate nature has really come out to shine. My mentee’s dad isn’t really present in his life. A couple of times now he has said to my wife and I “I don’t need a dad, cos I have you guys!”. Its an awesome feeling knowing that even with just a few hours a week, I can be that big a part of someones life. 



As the Community Co-ordinator at GridAKL Casey knows everything about the lovely humans that call GridAKL home! If there is something that you are itching to know about, let Casey know via our contact form so that she can write a blog post about it – easy!