Everybody Eats named Supreme Award winners at Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards

16 Nov 2023

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Everybody Eats have been named Supreme Award winners at the 2023 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards tonight.

Everybody Eats is a charitable dining concept on a mission to reduce food waste, food poverty and social isolation in Aotearoa.

Volunteers help Everybody Eats to transform rescued food into 3-course set menu dinners which are served at their restaurants on a koha basis. At Everybody Eats, they want to feed bellies not bins and bring people together over good food. 

Jack Rainey, Everybody Eats Wellington Restaurant Manager says: “We are truly humbled to win the Supreme Award. This goes to out to all our diners, volunteers and wider team. It takes a village to feed a community, and we have an amazing village behind us. Nga mihi nui koutou.”

Matt Clarke, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport says: “Choosing a Supreme Award winner was a tough job for the judges this year as usual. Everybody Eats innovative dining concept is not only reducing food waste, but also bringing community together, supported by a passionate volunteer team.”

Wellington Airport has also awarded five local high school students $1,000 scholarships in the annual Wild at Heart Spirit Awards. These winners demonstrate self-motivation in service to their community and college.

Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2023 Winners

  • Supreme Award: Everybody Eats
  • Arts and Culture: Every Body is a Treasure
  • Education and Child/Youth Development: Arohanui Strings
  • Health and Wellbeing: Everybody Eats
  • Heritage and Environment: Whareroa Community Guardians Trust
  • Sport and Leisure: Āhuru Mõwai Trust
  • Rising Star Award: Capital Theatre Trust
  • People’s Choice Award: Mountains to Sea Wellington

2023 Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients

  • Rex More - Rongotai College
  • Ava Saulbrey - St Catherine’s College
  • Conor Chesney - St Patrick’s College
  • Ben Bridle - Scots College
  • Naya Espelita - Wellington East Girls’ College

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Background on the Community Awards

Every year Wellington Airport and the five local councils come together to recognise the work carried out by community groups in the wider Wellington region. The focus of the awards is to celebrate volunteers for their valuable contribution to society. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the awards.

The awards start with Wellington’s five councils awarding volunteer organisations in their local community under the following categories: Art & Culture, Education and Child/Youth Development. Health and Wellbeing, Heritage and Environment, Sport and Leisure, plus a Rising Star Award for emerging groups.

The finalists from each region then go forward to the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards for the overall award in their category, and the opportunity to be named Supreme Winner.

Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2023 Winner Citations

Art & Culture category winner – Every Body is a Treasure
In 2017, Every Body is a Treasure started a grass roots body positive movement with women and youth. This year their documentary about that adventure comes out. Then a cool thing happened – the youth started taking over. They felt that the mainstream media doesn't always get youth stories correct, so the trust supported them to start their own media outlet, Create Happy Media. Their teen-run magazine unites & celebrates the stories of rangatahi in Aotearoa, with plans underway to grow the network through podcasting.  |

Education & Child Youth Development winner – Arohanui Strings
Arohanui Strings mission is to create social change through the power of music. They offer free music lessons in-school and after-school, along with performance opportunities to children who probably wouldn’t otherwise learn to play a string instrument. They believe that all children have the right to a high-quality musical education.

Health & Wellbeing winner and Supreme Award – Everybody Eats
Everybody Eats is a charitable dining concept on a mission to reduce food waste, food poverty & social isolation in Aotearoa. Incredible volunteers help Everybody Eats to transform rescued food into 3-course meals which are served at their restaurants on a koha basis. At Everybody Eats, they want to feed bellies not bins and bring people together over good food.

Heritage & Environment category winner – Whareroa Guardians Community Trust
The Whareroa Guardians Community Trust values and cares for the 1000 acre Whareroa Farm Reserve near Paekakariki. They restore native forest, streams and wetlands with over 70,000 trees planted since 2007. Volunteers build tracks for active recreation and areas for peace and quiet. The Guardians want to restore this land and the environment for wildlife and the community - for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Sport & Leisure category winner – Āhuru Mōwai Trust
Āhuru Mōwai Trust support families who have children with extra or special needs by creating connections and raising awareness. They increase opportunities and accessibility for these families by partnering with local councils, businesses and service providers. The trust have facilitated over 200 sensory sessions and events around the region in the last year, with more dedicated spaces to come. Āhuru Mōwai Trust helps families to find support, take a breath and exhale.

Rising Star Award winner – Capital Theatre Trust
Capital Theatre Trust encourages participation in performing arts through productions, workshops and community collaboration. They presented the large-scale musical Les Miserables at the refurbished St. James Theatre together with G&T Productions and Wellington’s theatre community. Special performances for vision and hearing-impaired audiences, included an interactive stage tour, audio described performance and a fully signed live performance. Volunteers are the heart of everything, sharing energy, skills, training opportunities, friendship and celebrating success.

People’s Choice Award winner – Mountains to Sea Wellington
Mountains to Sea Wellington brings together science and education with inclusive and engaging programmes including Whitebait Connection, Experiencing Marine Reserves, Wai Connection and Love Rimurimu. They help school kids and community groups explore and restore the beautiful natural environments across the Wellington Region, from freshwater streams to salty coasts. Through their free Snorkel Days, they share the beauty and awe of our marine reserves, seaweed forests and their creatures.

2023 Wild at Heart Spirit Award Scholarship recipients:

231116 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards - Prize Winners - YL-088

Rex More - Rongotai College

Rex is a dedicated student leader from Rongotai College serving in the role of Arts Prefect. Rex champions involvement in performing arts at the college, serving as student leader of the schools award-winning Big Band and arranging cultural and arts events for the school. Rex has also been a lead member of the school's community service club Interact, organising fundraisers and support for numerous community organisations. The most recent fundraising activity for Shave for a Cure raised over $12,000 of which Rex personally raised $2,000.

Ava Saulbrey - St Catherine’s College

Ava is a determined student leader from St Catherine’s College serving as Environmental Prefect, School Council Whanau Hauora Facilitator and House Captain. Ava co-led a successful initiative to replace all the lights at the College with LEDs, organised local beach cleanup events for the past five years and ran a school-wide programme for Environmental Week. Ava is a volunteer lifeguard at the Lyall Bay Surf Lifesaving Club and recently achieved the Inflatable Rescue Boat Drivers Award and is determined to encourage other young women to get their IRB licences. Ava is also Volunteer at Ohariu Valley Equestrian Centre.

Conor Chesney - St Patrick’s College

Conor is an involved student leader from St Patrick’s College serving as Deputy Manu Taupua (Deputy Head Boy), Debating Club leader, Cross Country Team Captain, member of the Achievement Committee and Tutor Group leader. Conor is always at the ready to support the schools’ charity initiatives including collecting for Women’s Refuge, Cancer Society and Mary Potter Hospice and fundraising events for the Mental Health Foundation. Conor has been a dedicated Surf lifeguard at Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club for many years, now serving as patrol captain, mentoring trainee IRB drivers and coaching juniors. Conor is also a keen volunteer for the Wellington Harriers Athletics Club.

Ben Bridle - Scots College

Ben is an active student leader from Scots College, serving as College Prefect with the Wellbeing Portfolio and a Student Mentor. Ben is a member of the schools auditioned Chamber Choir and Premier A debating team. Ben regularly volunteers for the St Vincent de Paul Society, is a member of the Tennis New Zealand National Youth Advisory Group and the Wellington City Youth Council and a Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award recipient. Ben is an Ambassador for the Student Volunteer Army inspiring other students to get involved along with receiving the Gold Award for over 500 hours service and the Top Volunteer Award for clocking up the most volunteer hours for the school in 2021. 

Naya Espelita - Wellington East Girls’ College

Naya is an all-round student leader from Wellington East Girls’ College serving as Music Prefect with involvement in culture, leadership and sports.  Naya shares her passion for music as student conductor of the school orchestra and student leader for Sounds of Matairangi chamber music group. A dedicated member of the schools volunteering club, Naya has been recognised with awards in both the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the Student Volunteer Army, and regularly helps with Breakfast Club, charity collections and beach cleanups. Naya established ‘Seat at the Table’ a cultural club to increase the representation and recognition of the Asian Community at Wellington East. The club is open to all students who want to share their culture or learn more about the wide variety of Asian cultures.