Charity set on making impact

Queenstown’s Pivotal Point Charitable Trust has opened applications for its third funding round.

Since the Pivotal Point Pledge’s inception in March, 2022, the fund — aimed at providing essential assessments and therapies for neurodivergent kids — has already distributed $30,000 to support local whānau.

Founder Lisa Leftley says the charity focuses on children with neurodiverse challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism, estimated to affect about 20% of Kiwi kids.

After accessing Pivotal Point’s free navigation service, which helps determine specific support for each child, parents and guardians of local kids, aged between five and 17, can apply for funding from the charity.

Leftley says the impact on recipients can’t be overstated.

One family used the funding for private tuition for their son, who’s since gained confidence, wants to learn and give things a go — ‘‘seeing him starting to thrive is all you could ever hope for’’, his mum says.

Another used their funding to contribute to an educational psychological assessment for their daughter, who is autistic and has anxiety and sensory processing disorders.

They note the cost of the assessment itself is prohibitive for most families — running about $1600 — but the formal diagnosis has given them access to more knowledge to support their daughter, and additional support through the education system.

Leftley: ‘‘When neurodiversity is not recognised and identified early on, children can really struggle, particularly within our education system.

‘‘Our funding comes from generous donations to the Pivotal Point Pledge and other fundraising activities.

‘‘This money is crucial in supporting children who need essential specialist assessments or ongoing therapies, both of which can be quite expensive.

‘‘Helping whānau in this way is really important to us.’’

The new funding round is open until noon on Monday, June 10.

Anyone interested in applying for funding, or making a donation, can visit and click on the ‘Pivotal Point Pledge’.

[email protected]

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