This is the story of a woman who has always wanted more – not for herself; but always for others. Amanda B inspires us at Momentum Waikato Community Foundation for many reasons. Among them are her perpetual desire to give back as well as boldly give forward to those whom she will never know. The desire to lead a giving life was engrained in her from her early days in Yorkshire. Trained as a nurse and midwife, she decided to follow some New Zealand relatives to Dunedin and worked there as a nurse before moving to Hamilton in the mid 1960s. Continuing her adventurous journey abroad, she spent time on an aboriginal reserve near Alice Springs, Australia, prior to running a paediatric unit in India for two years, helping provide the gift of sight through cataract surgery to those who had virtually nothing themselves.
A brief time back in the UK helped her realise New Zealand had captured her heart, so she returned with a strong desire to learn and share as much as she could. Completing a degree in psychology, anthropology and religious studies at Victoria University under theologian Sir Lloyd Geering, her faith became stronger, as did her desire to give her life to service.
She lectured at the university for 21 years in psycho-social health prior to receiving a Commonwealth Study Award, which allowed her to complete her Masters Degree in Edinburgh before returning to New Zealand. With no family of her own, Amanda became the foster parent to seven needy children between the ages of 7 and 13, changing their lives irrevocably. When they all had grown up, she moved to Katikati and was ordained as an Anglican priest. Then ten years ago, the Waikato received a great gift when she moved to Hamilton to work with Bishop David Moxom to help retired and sick clergy and their widows.
Serving as a chaplain at Mary Potter Hospice, Waipuna Hospice Outreach and Hospice Waikato, Amanda has helped many people at the end of their lives. She is on the board of the Hamilton Night Shelter and Abbyfield, and lends her energy to Project Rachel. As a ‘grandmother’ to the children of many of her friends, and with her foster children well established in their own lives, Amanda now knows exactly how she wants to spend her life’s earnings; as a gift to the community.
Discovering Momentum Waikato through Acorn Foundation, she has chosen to bestow half her fund to forever support the Vital Impact Programme, and half to support the Hamilton Christian Night Shelter, animal welfare charities, educational opportunities for vulnerable children, and for CBMI, an international charity that transforms the lives of people with disabilities. Amanda pays tribute to all that have touched her most in life: her experiences in India, the foster children she raised as her own and her Christian faith.
For Amanda B, choosing to give through Momentum Waikato provides her with the perfect vehicle to ensure the things she treasures most continue to benefit from her love and support well beyond her own lifetime.