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A strong foundation for families

Building homes in partnership with Parenting Place

Like a house, a family needs a solid foundation. It needs to be strong enough to stand up to tough conditions, with internal support and protection from the outside world. Like a house, a strong family is made of good materials…well, the metaphor falls apart a bit there, we have to admit. But at Sentinel Homes, we do believe in the value of solid homes and strong families. That’s why we’ve been partnering with Parenting Place to help them support New Zealand families. .

Many of the members of the Sentinel team have children, so we know how difficult parenting can be – and how important it is. We’ve always designed houses to facilitate family life, with a focus on shared spaces and connecting people. Parenting Place has a similar focus: they’re all about supporting whānau - walking alongside parents as as they tackle parenting challenges and forge deeper connections with their kids. They support parents across New Zealand trough a range of courses, programmes and resources, and their Attitude team connects with 300,000 young people each year, teaching life skills in schools all over the country.

As Creative and Development Director, Dave Atkinson explains, nurturing meaningful relationships is at the core of all their work.

“We believe that there is nothing more important than relationships – they give us meaning and are the building blocks of a strong society. We want every child in New Zealand to grow up feeling like they’re deeply loved.”

Our partnership with Parenting Place combines our passion for the family home with their mission. And now that relationship has grown a wee bit – we’re building two brand new houses, one in Auckland, one in Tauranga, and passing the profits on to Parenting Place. They’ll be able to use the money to offer more courses to parents, visit more schools, and reach out to more people. In the long run, they’ll be helping create a stronger, happier New Zealand, which is better for all of us.

Partnering for parents

Sentinel Homes has worked with Parenting Place before, but this project takes things up a notch. We’re so excited to be using our skills – building solid, well designed homes – to support theirs.

The project involves building two brand new homes, one in Papamoa, Tauranga, and the other in MillWater, north of Auckland. These houses are high-quality homes built for families, both with four bedrooms spread over two levels in MillWater and single level in Papamoa. Like most of our homes, they’re designed with family life and relationships in mind. That means large shared spaces for family living – open kitchens and lounges, and an easy indoor/outdoor flow. We balance that out with sizeable bedrooms – if you’re a parent of teenagers, you’ll know that private space is essential too.

We’re going to take on the cost of building these houses, and when they’re sold at the end of 2018, we’ll pass on the profits to Parenting Place. We’re also working with our suppliers to reduce the cost of materials and maximise the potential profits.

We’ll not only be providing brand-new homes to two Kiwi families, we’ll be helping support countless other Kiwi families at the same time.

As Dave says, the enthusiasm from our franchisees and staff has been amazing.

“It’s encouraging to know that there are people who are equally passionate about supporting families, and that really speaks to the culture of Sentinel Homes – to expect a bunch of people to work really hard over and above their jobs to support us – that’s cool.” Dave Atkinson, Parenting Place.

Passing on the profits

The money raised through Sentinel’s partnership build project will help support parents through free and subsidised Toolbox courses and Family coaching. It’ll also help Parenting Place offer Attitude life skills talks to more schools so they can reach more young people all over the country.

While many parents pay for Parenting Place’s support, the money we help raise will mean parents who don’t have extra cash can access help too. These parents are often in challenging and stressful circumstances anyway, which means they need all the support they can get. It’s not that poorer parents have fewer skills, but that difficult economic circumstances inevitably add stress and pressure to family life.

That’s why the work Parenting Place does is incredibly important, not just to individual families, but to society as a whole. As Dave says, building and strengthening the family leads to children and young people with a sense of self-worth, who are more likely to make positive choices. It also takes the pressure off marriages and partnerships – and when families stay together, the economic, emotional, and social benefits are enormous.

“With all the challenges that kids face – one of the protective factors is a strong sense of worth, and children mainly learn that in the family unit. Those are the building blocks of a strong society.”

To find out more about Parenting Place visit parentingplace.nz

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