Charitable outreach has always been at the core of everything we do – and still is today.
Our Mission to care for older people who are vulnerable and in need was born out of the legacy of the Great Depression and WWII, when a desperate housing shortage meant that some elderly people were living in squalid and destitute conditions. Assistance programmes initiated by Auckland’s first Anglican City Missioner led to the creation of Selwyn Village in 1954 which, in time, developed into The Selwyn Foundation.
Our charitable Mission is just as relevant now as it was in the early 1950s, and seniors today are facing the same pressing issues. The scourge of loneliness, the effects of financial hardship and the lack of affordable housing all have their own consequences for health and wellbeing. Increasingly, people are reaching retirement with mortgages or are still renting, yet New Zealand Superannuation assumes retirees are mortgage-free. Those over 65 who are renting are more likely to have lower incomes, fewer financial assets and poorer health, but NZ Super doesn’t cover the weekly minimum cost for healthy living of a single person who’s 65+ and privately renting (with a shortfall of $114 per week). These are just a few statistics that illustrate the plight of some of our older population in 2020.
In the 66 years since we opened our first village for those in need of a safe, warm and permanent home, many have been helped – but there is much still to do. Our commercial ventures and retirement village operations serve to raise funds for all our charitable activities within local communities, in our villages and beyond. Activities such as our network of Selwyn Centres which help combat the effects of loneliness and social isolation, our hardship support grants, affordable housing initiatives, faith and Tikanga outreach, our promotion of academic research in gerontology and our support of not-for-profit groups working with or for the elderly locally or at national level.
You won’t find The Selwyn Foundation listed on the share market – we’re about care performance, not share performance. As a charitable organisation, we reinvest back into enriching the lives of older people in need, rather than distributing surpluses to shareholders.
You can help in this work, too. If you would like to help us extend our Mission with older people in need, visit our donations page. We are truly grateful for all donations, which are put towards making a positive difference in the lives of some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable elderly.