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The first Red Shed was opened for business by Stephen Tindall over 30 years ago. Right from the beginning, The Warehouse has put our customers, our people, our communities and the environment at the core of what we do its part of our DNA. In fact, it's part of our core purpose; the very reason why we exist.
Kiwis tell us that they want companies to do the right thing and, through our company history, millions of Kiwis have partnered with us to provide more than $40,000,000 to thousands of community organisations. In 2013 The Warehouse Group Foundation was established to help us support even more community organisations. To find out about The Warehouse Group Foundation click here.
Our goal is to enhance the lives of families and young people throughout New Zealand by developing partnerships with community organisations at a national, regional and neighbourhood level. Learn more about the community partners we support.
One of the most exciting extensions of our community partnerships occurred with Women’s Refuge and saw the company being the first business to provide a ‘Shielded Website’ on our own website that enabled people to access the Women’s Refuge site without fear of an abusive partner being able to trace their viewing history. This will make it much safer and easier for people in an abusive relationship to gain the help they need.
Youth employment is a crucial issue in New Zealand and The Warehouse has been operating its ‘Red Shirts in Schools’ programme in conjunction with Industry Training Organisation, Skills, for many years. The Red Shirts in Schools programme provides Year 11 to 13 students nationwide the opportunity to glimpse into the working world. They are taught about health and safety, and customer service skills, all while earning credits towards their NCEA qualifications. Students’ report they have increased confidence and self-awareness as a result of partaking in the programme, which provides them with practical work experience and forms a great foundation for their CV. Since it was first launched in 2009, more than 7,700 secondary-school students have taken part in this initiative.
The success of this programme has seen The Warehouse partner with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) to extend access to 18 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training. The Red Shirts in Community programme provides 16 to 24-year-olds with a foundation to equip them for future job applications and placements through supported work experience.
It allows them to gain insight into the working environment and on completion they are awarded The Warehouse ‘RSIC Customer Service Award’. The participants’ most common feedback was that their confidence increased tenfold and they had grown as a person. After a pilot in three locations which saw a significant percentage of participants gaining employment, MSD and The Warehouse have extended this programme to other areas and we are excited about the possibilities it has in helping to address the issue of youth unemployment across the country.