HAMILTON, NZ - Waikato Women's Refuge has announced Lady Judi Gallagher has become the organisation’s inaugural Patron.
Waikato Women’s Refuge is a union of both the Te Whakaruruhau Maori Women's Refuge and Hamilton Refuge and Support Services. It operates safe houses and domestic violence support services for women of all ethnic backgrounds who come from throughout the Waikato to receive help in Hamilton city. The refuge currently supports 54 women and children in six safe houses.
Lady Judi Gallagher, wife of Chief Executive Officer of Gallagher Sir William Gallagher, is well-known for her charity work and community support.
“I was honoured to be asked to take up the position of patron for Waikato Women’s Refuge. The work they do is extremely important and contributes significantly to the health and safety of our local community.
“I’m a believer in Hilary Clinton’s famous quote ‘it takes a village’ – meaning everyone has a part to play in creating a better community. If I can help Waikato Women’s Refuge by lending my encouragement to their board and staff, I am happy to do so. I intend to be an active supporter of the organisation – not just a Patron in name only,” said Lady Judi.
While getting to know the organisation, Lady Judi said she was most impressed by the Refuge’s ‘whole of family,’ proactive approach.
“Waikato Women’s Refuge is not only about assisting women and children in crisis. They are about providing support to entire families. I’m impressed by the staff’s desire to provide more proactive support to women, children – and men, as well.
“While their services will always involve crisis support - the proverbial ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ – they are also focused on developing services that provide a safety net at the top of the mountain,” she explained.
Waikato Women’s Refuge Chair Annah Stretton, says, “Having Lady Judi agree to be our patron is a nice fit for our organisation. Her acknowledgement and support for the work our team do throughout the Waikato is a strong vote of confidence.
“We are looking forward to involving Lady Judi in our planned activities to increase awareness of the work that refuge does and gain further support from the wider Waikato community.”
Lady Judi joined Waikato Women’s Refuge board members and staff on Friday 3 July to tour several of their safe houses, including a new building project, around Hamilton city.
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