The Sutherland Self Help Trust was conceived in 1941 by Arthur Sutherland, son of Ben Sutherland. The Sutherlands owned and managed New Zealand’s first major chain of grocery stores – the Self Help Co-op – and it was their wish to create a trust fund to further community welfare in New Zealand.

The Sutherland family donated property to form the capital for the Trust. After a period of 20 years the income generated by this capital was distributed to causes judged worthy by a Board of Trustees.

Patricia-McGavin-cutting-ribbon-with-John-Sutherland,-Jackie-Johnson-supporting,-Copeland-St-29Jan2013-030The board of trustees is made up of two Sutherland Family appointments, and one appointment each from the Law Society, Medical Council and The Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The first distribution was made in 1962. In that year $41,360 was distributed to 17 organisations. Since then over $25 million has been distributed with a present day value of over $70 million.

Today, the Sutherland Self Help Trust provides grants to community organisations throughout New Zealand. Its current policy specifies the areas of interest for each year.

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2017 Grant Policy

The Trustees of the Sutherland Self Help Trust Board advise that 2017 grant funding will be made to community organisations that assist people with post-traumatic stress disorder  (PTSD) and associated mental health problems.

PTSD can occur any time after a person has experienced a traumatic event, such as an assault, serious accident, fire, natural disaster, life-threatening medical diagnosis, and other extreme or life-threatening events. PTSD is a psychological reaction to experiencing or witnessing a significantly stressful, traumatic or shocking event. Any situation where there was a risk of being killed or injured, seeing others killed or injured, or sometimes even hearing about such things, can result in PTSD.  PTSD can affect people of any age, gender or culture. If not recognised and treated, PTSD can lead to depression, alcohol & drug abuse and other long term mental illness.

Organisations may assist people from a range of trauma situations such as but not limited to armed services, police, ambulance personal, firefighters, farming, journalists, refugees or victims of physical abuse.

Organisations are asked to send in a single-page summary of their specific project and organisation details between 1st to 21st February 2017.  Organisations selected by the Trustees will then be invited to apply on an official application form in late March 2017.

Projects eligible for consideration include buildings, equipment & training but do not include motor vehicles, administration costs. Grants will be made only to charitable organisations (not individuals) and are for use only in New Zealand. We will focus funding between $25,000 and $50,000 for each organisation. Funding will be distributed from June 2017.

Organisations applying should provide an email address, postal address, physical address, charities registration number (if applicable), phone number and contact person.

Please send in your project summary by 21st February 2017 by email to:


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