BUWT – the Beneficiary and Unwaged Workers Trust – are a vital intermediary between vulnerable people and failing systems. Myself and thousands of other beneficiaries have relied on them at crucial moments, and like any advocacy group, they subsist on a shoestring budget. I want to fundraise for them.
Kay Breteon, who is possibly the most grounded person I have ever met, leads BUWT – and was also a member of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. She worked nights and weekends for months to participate in the WEAG, public consultations, the development and delivery of key recommendations for fixing our broken welfare system.
Unfortunately as we all know, the government is sitting on those recommendations and doing… not nearly enough.
But Kay, who does the extremely resource-consuming role of acting as bridge between politicians too deep in bureaucracy to see human faces, and the people who need desperately to be seen, is still working tirelessly.
The first time I spoke to Kay, it was around this time last year, to get comment from her on how welfare sanctions unfairly impact women. She was a great interviewee. We got to chatting.
Eventually, I met her at the WEAG public consultation here in Nelson, and soon after I turned up in her office for some reason or another.
Kay and the other people who run BUWT are an indispensable asset to our community. It was through her help that I was able to get off a benefit, and it was through her that we finally got WINZ to stop treating my chronically ill, elderly father like a “jobseeker.” It took five years of three-monthly medical certificates, a push from the doctor, and Kay and I intervening, for WINZ to move him from an unemployment benefit to a disability supplement. I so often wonder about the people who don’t have anyone to fight for them.
Unfortunately, we live within a broken system, and that makes BUWT – and many other advocacy groups such as Auckland Against Povery – vital for many people’s survival.
And of course, the catch is that those who need them most cannot afford to pay. Which means that groups like this are often running on the smell of an oily rag, going from grant to grant and hoping for the best.
That’s why I’m suggesting people donate directly to them. This was their message:
We need your support to continue our work.
Please donate to: Beneficiaries and Unwaged Workers Trust
Westpac 030703 0477542-00
Registered Donee Organisation
Charitable registration No.CC21787
Ph: 5488171, [email protected]
31 Selywn Place, PO Box 926, Nelson
As usual with any of these messages – a little goes a long way. So even if a little is all you can give, it helps.
It helped me, and it will help countless others.
More about BUWT, from their website
Do you have a problem with WINZ, ACC or IRD?
Then, we may be able to help. BUWT is a non-government community organisation that provides information, advice and support for people on low incomes.
Every year, our professional staff help hundreds of people who need support. All our services are free and confidential.
We can also provide you with contacts to other organisations that can help you with things like emergency food, housing, counselling, and medical services.
Advice and Support:
When you visit us we listen and provide good advice on how to deal with government agencies.
We can act as a support person when you have to meet with government agencies. And, if there is a break down in communication or conflict, we can act as a mediator to help resolve the issue.
We also keep up-to-date with changes in the law that affect people on low incomes. And make sure that you have a voice at local, district, and national levels