Home News Community & Sponsorship PlaceMakers suppliers give generously

June 2024

PlaceMakers suppliers give generously

27 May 2024, Community & Sponsorship, News

PlaceMakers suppliers Denstock, Lynn River and Makita have donated essential equipment to Ara Education Charitable Trust, which gives students a leg-up into the construction industry 

Ara Education Charitable Trust (AECT) is a collaboration between industry, government agencies and schools to create work and training opportunities for school leavers from several South Auckland schools, including Aorere College, Manurewa High, Onehunga High and Southern Cross Campus.

Denstock donated 225 pairs of Magnum boots worth $27,000, Lynn River donated 40 pairs of safety glasses and 40 pairs of gloves worth $1,680 and Makita donated drill bits and knives worth $950 – all of which is vital in helping Ara Education Charitable Trust carry out their work in the community, says Communications and Marketing Officer Mariska Steyn.

“These donations will be used in our Schools Programme, where Year 13 students from various South Auckland high schools spend their final year of school in a practical, hands-on environment on-site, where they get to renovate old, relocated houses. 

“These students learn valuable trades skills throughout this year and many of them go on to get apprenticeships or employment once they finish.”

Kiwis coming together

Denstock General Manager Matt Parrett says the opportunity to help kids interested in making a career in the construction industry was too good to miss.

“We’re a Kiwi company that places importance in traditional values, such as helping others where we can. So, when PlaceMakers reached out to us, we couldn’t say no. We had a range of footwear in stock that we thought would make a perfect giveaway, and, hopefully, some budding tradies will make good use of it!

“While safety boots are a compliance product, they aren’t affordable for everybody. If we’ve been able to remove any of the anxiety for anyone, around being able to afford the necessary gear, we’ll be really happy with that.”

Lynn River Marketing Manager Jamie Gallagher says that AECT was a charity close to his heart and was delighted when the opportunity came up to donate.

“I’ve seen the difference it can make for people getting their start in the trades, through feeling supported and being provided with the tools and knowledge they need to jumpstart their careers,” says Jamie. 

“We have been supplying PlaceMakers with safety gloves and PPE for several years now. When they asked if we could possibly donate some gear, we jumped at the chance.”

Jamie says that Lynn River’s charitable approach to business was the product of a day’s worth of soul-searching by employees – and one that he’s immensely proud of!

“We recently underwent a rebrand, where we closed the business for a day and got the whole team together to discuss what matters most to Lynn River. A main takeaway and key focus moving forward was caring for our customers and the wider community. For us, it’s crucial to support great initiatives like this. It comes with satisfaction to know we are assisting those in need by taking a bit of the financial burden away from starting out and the massive costs involved with buying tools required for their trade.”

Makita was also approached by PlaceMakers to contribute to the charity and, like Lynn River and Denstock, was only too happy to contribute, donating around $1,000 worth of stock.

“By actively engaging with local communities and industry partners, like the Ara Trust and other training institutes around the country, we foster a culture of collaboration, innovation and mutual support,” says Jennifer Chatfield, Makita NZ Key Account Manager. “For Makita New Zealand, giving back isn’t just a choice; it’s an integral part of who we are and what we stand for.”

Working towards a bright future

The donated gear will also be used for other programmes, such as the AECT Maori & Pasifika Women in Construction Programme, which empowers young wahine (women) to enter the construction industry.

“After completing the programme with us, these young women are placed into apprenticeships, work experience or jobs, while they receive ongoing mentorship to help them navigate any difficult or challenging situations that might arise on their career journey,” says Mariska. “PlaceMakers also supports us with their strong focus on ‘Women in Construction’, and our young wahine have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the inspiring women who are working on the BUILDhers construction project.”

BUILDhers is a New Zealand-first project involving a team of more than 40 women leading every stage of home construction, from architectural design to final sale.

As a charity that relies solely on funding via grants, as well as donations from businesses, any help AECT can get from suppliers within the construction industry lets it continue its important work with some of New Zealand’s most disadvantaged young people.

“Anything we receive is welcomed with open arms, as this enables us to keep our programmes alive, and change lives,” says Mariska. 

“There are various ways to help us, beyond financial support. This includes people offering up their time to help out on site, apprenticeships, employment opportunities, surplus materials from other sites, any working tools and machinery that are no longer required, as well as professional services, such as architects or lawyers, who can help with documentation for the houses
we work on.”

Donation facilitators

PlaceMakers, which has been a strong supporter of AECT for some time, was instrumental in facilitating the donation.

“It is all thanks to PlaceMakers that we have received these generous donations,” says Mariska. “We have been talking with PlaceMakers
about putting together ‘starter packs’ for our students. They asked us to send through our ‘wish list’ for items to be included in these packs, which included gloves, glasses, boots and drill bits. 

“Once PlaceMakers received our list, their team reached out to their suppliers to make it happen!

“They also donated branded hi-vis hoodies and wide-rimmed sun hats. Their support has been amazing. Their hearts and hands are always open to help in any way.”

In 2023, PlaceMakers donated a complete kitchen and electrical appliances for AECT’s Forever House project, which featured in a previous issue of Under Construction. 

PlaceMakers GM Marketing Sharon Lydon says PlaceMakers is proud to partner with grassroots charities like AECT, which make a real difference in the community.

“We’re incredibly proud to support the valuable work that AECT undertakes. PlaceMakers is dedicated to helping introduce as many people as possible to our industry from all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders and to helping provide a wider talent pool for future builders.” 


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