Bellyful Trustee Awarded ‘Local Hero’

On receiving a 2018 Kiwibank Local Hero Award, Rebecca Morahan, Bellyful Trustee and former Branch Coordinator for Porirua said, “I was so humbled by this but I feel I’ve ‘taken one for the team’ and accepted it on behalf of all the volunteers doing so much amazing work.

“One person gets picked for these awards but I feel it’s recognition that society sees the value in what we’re all doing,” says Rebecca.

The award acknowledged her service to Bellyful and to WELLfed. Rebecca and fellow Bellyful volunteer, Kim Murray, founded WELLfed to provide weekly community cooking lessons for families.

“I’m a bit high energy and get passionate and excited about projects,” says Rebecca. Her family, professional and volunteer experiences all contribute to her success in her current role as a Bellyful trustee.

With a background in IT software development Rebecca was responsible for managing large projects. “I worked on some full-on projects designing back office insurance and re-insurance systems and it was in a fairly male dominated space.

“It was quite a shock to become a stay at home mum. Our first child was born in London and we had no family there. I had lots of friends supporting us but one from church realised what we really needed. We had been given lots of lovely baby booties and hats but she brought lasagne! I do remember all the thoughtful gifts and cards, but that lasagne stands out. My husband and I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner over a few days! That’s the Bellyful essence right there.. She gave us exactly what we needed.”

Once Rebecca and the family returned to New Zealand she became involved as Chair of the local playgroup as well as project managing their house build. It was during the build and while camping in one room at her parents home that Rebecca heard about Bellyful starting up in her area.

As a founding member and Porirua Branch Coordinator, Rebecca developed a broad understanding of how the organisation runs. She became involved in Bellyful New Zealand projects such as working on a national cost saving project for the phones.

Through these experiences Rebecca realised she was uniquely placed to become a trustee and look at volunteering time to support all Bellyful branches nationwide.

“As trustees we are guiding and directing the strategy and organisation for Bellyful. We set in play anything that is needed operationally, all in the background. We have over 500 fabulous volunteers who cook, deliver, fundraise and do administration and as trustees we are responsible for the care of the organisation and need to look to the future,” says Rebecca. “It’s a privilege to have seen Bellyful grow from three or four branches to 22.”

“It’s a responsible job. We carry liability both financially and legally. It’s quite a weight on trustees especially in a volunteer capacity,” she adds. Rebecca has also recently taken on another trustee role with Nikau Foundation – a community foundation which funds hundreds of community groups within the Wellington region.

Being a Bellyful trustee is a role Rebecca enjoys. “Bellyful gives us a chance to touch lives of people we might not otherwise meet. Meals are delivered with love, in support of and with empathy for the place that the family is in that day. It’s something practical and we are physically present.

“I believe in family and community first. My family – we love food. I won’t compromise on it as it’s what keeps you well. I have more focus on food than the state of the house – something’s gotta give!”

Bellyful are honoured to have Rebecca as a trustee and to see her voluntary work recognised with such a prestigious award.

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