A charitable trust that supports people who have served in New Zealand’s armed forces will receive a boost in funding from a sports nutrition distribution company based in Te Aroha.
The charity, called No Duff, supports veterans from New Zealand’s army, navy or air force, who may be experiencing distress or are in critical need back on home soil. No Duff is named after the military slang to let soldiers know an emergency is real and not a training drill.
Sports nutrition company Kill Cliff New Zealand has set up a discount code, ‘noduffwarriors’, for anyone to use to receive 10 percent off online sports drink purchases, and 10 per cent of those sales are then donated to No Duff to support their work.
Kill Cliff recently launched a new range of natural sports drinks in New Zealand, and its parent company in the US has a long history of supporting military personnel settling back into life at home.
No Duff chief executive Aaron Wood says the charity has largely flown under the radar, but hopes to change that as members of the public start to see how important their work is.
He said returned military can find it extremely challenging adjusting to civilian life.
“They might come home suffering from severe trauma, such as an adjustment disorder, be recovering from an injury or they’re trying to settle back into ‘normal’ life, and that can be really difficult on the veteran and their wider family,” he said.
“When we receive a request to support a veteran, our mission is to have one of our volunteers in front of that person within two hours – anywhere in Australasia.”
They then continue to provide long-term support as needed or assist in transitioning them to Veterans Affairs New Zealand or their local RSA welfare system.
“Many of our volunteers have been in the military, they’ve ‘been there done that’, so they understand the hardships ex-military face back at home.”
No Duff has two paid staffers, a board of trustees, and more than 400 volunteers around New Zealand. Since its inception in 2016 the charity has responded to more than 200 callouts.
Wood said the charity relies entirely on public and private funding and grants.
“We’re really pleased to have the support of Kill Cliff and it’s also great knowing they actively seek out opportunities to support returned military personnel overseas, so there’s a nice link there.”
Kill Cliff New Zealand director Jillian O’Neill, who runs the company alongside her husband Shaun, said they admire Kill Cliff US’s affiliation with the Navy Seal Foundation, which raises money and provides event support for the foundation every year.
“We thought how cool it would be to replicate the same thing here in New Zealand, so we did some research and came across No Duff,” she said.
“We hope that in some small way this will acknowledge those who have served and the sacrifices they and their families make for all of us.”