“I was over the moon when I found out,” said Pauline Stratful, supervisor at Redhills Community Kindergarten in Massey. “This isn’t just helping us grow some veges. It’s helping us grow our children’s confidence and abilities.”
Redhills is a small, non-profit kindergarten that has been operating for over 35 years. Earlier this year, Harcourts’ Henderson office, Blue Fern Realty, donated $9,000 to the kindergarten through Harcourts’ charitable arm, The Harcourts Foundation.
The funds were earmarked for the kindergarten’s outdoor area which has undergone a major upgrade over the past couple of months.
Pauline digs out some pictures of the kindergarten’s play area prior to the grant. “We had some outdoor spaces that were virtually unusable in the winter,” she explained. “They were just too wet and muddy.”
The grass bank is now home to a new climbing ramp, steps and free draining pathways leading to freshly planted vege gardens. “This space can now be used all year round,” said Pauline. “The children have been planting our two new raised gardens and our families are enjoying the veges their children are harvesting.”
The donation also made it possible to upgrade the sandpit, replace rusting bikes and scooters, and create a lovely marae setting for the children to play in.
“We saw an opportunity to lend a helping hand in our community, so we did,” said Suzy Bray, Managing Director at Blue Fern Realty. “Seeing what they’ve created and the benefits it’s providing for the children has been as rewarding for us as it has been for them!”
“It’s been an amazing transformation,” said Pauline. “We still can’t quite believe it. The children love it!”
Harcourts launched The Harcourts Foundation in 2008 with 100% of the funds raised going to the charities around New Zealand. The Foundation has provided grants totalling more than $6 million globally to support local community group thanks to its supporters like Harcourts Henderson Blue Fern Realty.
Redhills Kindergarten supervisor, Pauline Stratful shows the children how to plant their veges in the new gardens.
An underutilised slope has been transformed into a year round outdoor play area and gardens.