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We support people who have left the Gloriavale Christian Community, to enable them to become independent and to integrate into local communities. This involves support in practical, financial, spiritual, emotional and educational matters.
Here's How We Can Help Leavers
Advice & Help
We aim to support Gloriavale leavers by providing them with timely advice and practical help on how to set up life in their new communities. This will include, but not be limited to, working with IRD, WINZ, and banks, helping with job searching, and finding appropriate clothing & housing.
We liaise with a range of existing social service agencies to ensure Gloriavale leavers are not disadvantaged through lack of information, funds or experience. This will include, but not be limited to, organising budgeting courses, parenting & marriage advice, career & educational advice, legal advice & guidance, and accessing funds for counselling and poverty relief.
We are assisting Gloriavale leavers with financial support, including but not limited to emergency assistance, costs for setting up a household or other costs associated with becoming an independent & contributing member of their local communities.
Providing a friendship/visiting service for leavers who settle in the South Canterbury region, (and in other regions where practical), to help establish and encourage their involvement in their local community and churches.
Meet the Staff
The Gloriavale Leavers’ Trust employs 4-part time staff to deliver the Trust’s Aims. It’s a growing work which aims to help provide love and care for the leavers in their journey to independence.
Trust Manager - Liz Gregory
Liz is the Manager of the Trust and the lead support worker. She liaises with people who have left Gloriavale to ensure they are getting the support they require, and builds effective and lasting friendships with the leavers. Liz has a heart for leavers, and feels that she can use her talents, and connections to get a better deal for them. Liz’s brain is constantly buzzing with ideas, and her phone is always buzzing with calls & messages from leavers, supporters, volunteers and outside agencies. Liz uses skills that she has gained from her years as a school teacher and as a business owner to run the Charitable Trust and to move it in a direction which will benefit the most people. Liz’s Christian faith is the most important driver in her life.
Office Admin - Carolyn Bunting
Caro’s main tasks will be to ensure the smooth operations of the office and admin tasks and to help everyone keep on top of the workload. But she contributes more than just admin skills to the team. She is a woman with initiative, creativity and energy.
Admin Support - Janina Kitchen
Janina is a valuable team member, bringing a diverse range of skills to the Trust. She will be working with Gloriavale leavers and advocacy groups to ensure they are being well represented. Janina’s past profession as a NZ Police Detective involved working with high level and serious offending. Her experience includes communicating effectively with victims, offenders, courts, Women’s Refuge, CYPS (now Oranga Tamariki), the Serious Fraud Office and more. Janina has also worked in various other roles – e.g. with Statistics NZ, the Electoral Commission and Farming. Currently she and her husband own a lifestyle block and run an Agricultural Engineering business. She has also been involved in many small community groups and has a strong Christian faith which guides her.
Bronwyn Kempf - Support Worker/Volunteer Coordinator
Bronwyn Kempf is a key player in the establishment of the Trust – but she likes to stay in the background! Bronwyn ministers quietly and effectively to the leavers, showing them love and grace. Her gentle nature and practical skills are valued by everyone she meets. She is like a mum and grandma to many of the leavers, helping to lovingly guide them in this unfamiliar world, and nourishing them spiritually. Bronwyn and her family have had many Gloriavale leavers through their home, and she really understands and loves them. Bronwyn is a gift to the world 🙂 She is employed for a few hours a week to help with the smooth running of the Trust and its various operations, including working with fundraising and volunteers. She has initiative and works hard to ensure Liz stays on track!
Meet the Trustees
The Trustees are committed to the welfare of Gloriavale Leavers and in providing a solid vision moving forwards. Many of the Trustees live in South Canterbury and are personally involved in the lives of ex-members on a day-to-day basis. They come with a range of skills which enables them to direct the activities of the Trust and oversee the employment of the staff. All trustees are involved in local churches.
Alan is a Christchurch-based Management Consultant specialising in not-for-profit organisations. He has founded, built, developed, and advised organisations at local, regional, and national levels. His diverse work portfolio has included youth agencies, churches, preschools, mental health, prisoner rehabilitation, social work, and counselling services. Added to that is wide-ranging governance experience across community groups, social services, and secondary education.
Elijah & Rosanna Overcomer
Rosanna & Elijah Overcomer were born and raised in Gloriavale, leaving in 2013 with their 3 young children (they now have 6 children). They manage a dairy farm near Fairlie, and have a range of other business ventures, including tree planting. They have been active in resettling leavers and offering them employment opportunities. They are a dynamic couple who desire to uphold truth and justice, and to show love.
Graham & Liz Gregory
Liz spent seven years as a teacher and then went on to found and run an award-winning retail business for another decade. Graham runs his own web design business and serves in his local church. Together they have a comprehensive and unique insight into the challenges that former Gloriavale residents face in integrating into everyday New Zealand. Liz provides day-to-day leadership for the work of the trust.
Rene & Bron Kempf
Rene and Bronwyn run Timaru Bluestone, and their stone building products have been incorporated into private homes and public buildings throughout New Zealand and beyond. They are deeply passionate about their local community which has shown itself in extensive sports, church, and school governance. They are very involved in the lives of those who have left Gloriavale.
Matt is a local Timaruvian, currently working in Reefton as an exploration geologist, whilst also studying for church ministry work. Matt has a passion for church and youth ministry, and is presently involved in planting a new church on the West Coast. Matt and his wife Hannah have two young children, and are closely involved with those who leave Gloriavale, offering spiritual encouragement and support to them.