Philanthropist Barbara Blake has lived in Wellington most of her life and grew up with parents who left a legacy of giving back to their community. Barbara is an advocate for “give where you live” and is happy to be working with Nikau Foundation to see the change her endowment fund will make.

In March The Blake Fund was established and will support organisations that contribute to the health and well-being of young people, with an emphasis on young women (15-25), Māori, Pacific Island, migrants and lesbian/gay communities.

“As a mother, I know that teenagers can be a bit tricky and can sometimes seem hard to reach. However I also know that with some perseverance, guidance and a firm push in the right direction at critical moments, young people will flourish and exceed all our expectations. They will make us proud and they will be proud of themselves.”

Barbara says her daughter is excited and very supportive of the fund and the positive effects it will have on Wellington’s youth and particularly disadvantaged youth.

The fund will add $500,000 to Nikau’s investment pool of over $5 million and will generate upwards of $20,000 in grants per annum in perpetuity for Wellington charities who meet the criteria.

Barbara approached Nikau Foundation for assistance when she was struggling with a decision on which community groups to support. To those who are considering where to donate Barbara says that giving through Nikau Foundation relieves the burden of making the best choice.

Barbara was confident starting her fund with Nikau because of their extensive knowledge of the community and its needs.

This grants round will be the first for the Blake Fund and Barbara is looking forward to be able to work closely with the Foundation during the process.