Champion Centre logo for printed pages.

News from some of our programmes

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 09:59

Started by Julie Wylie some 20 years ago, the music programme has developed a way of working with children that is truly unique.  This year we have been filming Julie and some of the other therapists working musically with children.  The goal is to produce a professional training video with accompanying CD of key songs for use by the Champion Centre for training purposes to ensure that Julie's legacy will continue far into the future.

Another key programme at the Chamion Centre is the Computer Supported Learning Programme.  Ben (not his real name) has a syndrome that means his development is extremely compromised.  But this little boy is just beginning to show us that he can understand and engage with the world. Can you imagine how powerful these changes are for his family?

The full articles can be viewed in our June 2016 newsletter, along with other news about the recent International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI) conference in Stockholm, research about the value of the Champion Centre programmes funded by Spanbild NZ Ltd and help from the hood. 

Statement from the research:


We deliver what children and their families need; what gives each child the best chance of reaching their full potential.  If we only delivered what the government funds we would not be meeting our obligations to vulnerable children and families.

2015 Roundup

Tuesday, 15 December 2015 10:24

It has been an exciting year at the Champion Centre and one of the most stable, both literally and metaphorically, for several years.  We have a strong team of therapists, specialists and support staff who have all contributed to the many great outcomes for the children and families who attended our service this year. To read more Champion Centre news, you can see our December 2015 newsletter here.

During 2015, Janelle, (who attended the Champion Centre about 20 years ago), returned to the Centre for a short period of work placement, doing a fine job working in the playroom and office. You can read more about Janelle's return to the Centre in the 2015 Annual Report here.

Another highlight of 2015 was a visit from Dr. Carolyn Blackburn, Research Fellow in Early Childhood Studies, Birmingham City University. Based on this visit, Dr Blackburn submitted a report to her funders and is making a presentation at the ISEI conference in Sweden in June 2016. The report is very affirming of everything we are doing at the Champion Centre. The full report can be read here.

We are doing it tough

Tuesday, 09 June 2015 12:21
The Champion Centre provides a multi-disciplinary early intervention service to more than 150 children each year; a number that has been stable since we moved into our current premises in 2000. But we are doing it tough.  It now costs nearly $2 million per year to run the programme (including 16% overheads including administrative salaries) and we currently need to find about $750,000 per year to supplement government grants.
Why are we struggling for funds?
While we have had small increases from government over the past ten years, they have not kept up with inflation or rising wages and we have lost more than half of what we gained through changes of policy around early childhood education funding. The net effect is that we have received an increase of only about $75,000 over the last six years.
(See here for a recent commentary on the challenges faced by social service providers)
At the same time, it has become increasingly difficult to source private funding, particularly post-earthquakes when there are so many more calls on private donations. If you would like to find out how you can help, please contact Eve: ph 383 6867 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see here for more infomation.
You can read more in our June 2015 newsletter.

The Power of Music

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 13:05

aylaThis is Ayla's story - Listen to me.

Ayla's natural responses to music became a way of finding her own voice and building her physical strength.

Ayla has just turned four years old and is a very determined young lady with quite definite opinons which she shares easily with those around her in a clear voice. She has little time for those who see her powered wheelchair and assume she cannot do much for herself because, indeed, she has a fine intelligence and much to tell the world.

Two years ago, however, the frequent bouts of chest infections that landed her in hospital almost every other week meant that she barely spoke above a whisper. She couldn't breathe well enough to speak up or to clear her lungs of the microbes that made her health so poor.

As part of Ayla’s team at the Champion Centre Linda, the music specialist, noticed that Ayla had a very fine-tuned sense of beat. Whenever there was music being played, Ayla’s feet would start moving in time and Linda realised that if she could harness that response, she could perhaps get Ayla’s hands, arms and body to move better.

This is a truly inspiring story about a very determined young lady and the power of music.

Click on Ayla's Story to read the full version

Battle of the Rebuild

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 14:10

The Champion Centre was chosen as one of the four nominiated charities to benefit from the proceeds of the Battle of the Rebuild at CBS Arena, May 2014.

We are so thankful to Chris Sinclair (Sinclair Homes), Troy Lange (Canterbrian Homes), Jeremy Solakof (Mike Greer Homes), Emily Marriot (Corbel Construction) and John Mason (SSPNZ)  who went out to fight for us.
Donations gifted in support of our fighters though Give a Little raised $28,234. Thankyou to all those great people who supported our boxers.
Our auction items raised the balance which included, a High Peak Hunting Trip donated by the Guild family and a Queenstown Action Escape package courtesy of Heartland Hotel and AJ Hacket Bungy. We also auctioned off naming rights to the Music Room, which raised a generous $7,475.
Silent auction items were sponsored by Chris Plummer, Carolyne Grant, Barkers, Mary Napper and Ali Frew- Stanton.
All together they raised a total of $46,803 which will be split equally between the Champion Centre and The Champion Foundation. Thankyou so much to all our supporters for helping our children this was a wonderful effort.
All in all we helped raise awareness about the great work we do and  the event affirmed  the fantastic support that we receive from wonderful people who have faith in the work that we do.


Donate now