Kiwis can help to provide vitally important support services for queer, gender-diverse & intersex young people in Aotearoa by donating to RainbowYOUTH at Countdown stores nationwide from today.

To kick-off Pride for 2020 and to celebrate receiving its Rainbow Tick re-accreditation, Countdown will have donation boxes available in all stores. Rainbow roses will also be sold in 40 selected stores for Valentine’s Day from 12 February, with $1 from the sale of each rose also being donated RainbowYOUTH.

Donations raised will enable RainbowYOUTH to provide services such as one-to-one support, drop-in centres, peer-support groups, information, resources, professional development opportunities and workshops for people across Aotearoa.

Countdown’s Kiri Hannifin said they are proud to be helping to raise funds for such a hugely important service in New Zealand.

“At Countdown, we really care about creating an environment where our team and our customers feel completely safe and comfortable to be who they are. We’ve achieved and maintained our Rainbow Tick accreditation, have recently established a Countdown Proud Group, and we’re continuing to update and develop policies that make Countdown a great place to work for all our team," said Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

“A big part of being able to do these things is working with organisations such as RainbowYOUTH, who do so much to support New Zealand’s young Rainbow community and their families and friends.

“More than 7000 of our team are under the age of 25 and there’s no doubt that many of them will have accessed the support RainbowYOUTH provides. We’re incredibly proud to be helping to raise funds so they can continue to do the amazing work they do."

RainbowYOUTH Executive Director Frances Arns says, “We’re stoked to have Countdown’s support during Pride, and it’s awesome to see their commitment to local rainbow communities with their contributions to Big Gay Out and Auckland Pride. Even just the visibility and awareness the donation boxes will create in towns across Aotearoa is really important. The funds raised will go a long way towards helping us provide services to rainbow young people around Aotearoa.”

The fundraising is in addition to support Countdown is also providing for Big Gay Out and Auckland Pride volunteers and performers.