Varntige, normalising doing good

For one day out of every year a local Waikato business closes its normal doors in order to open themselves up to community work.

When Chantelle Good started Varntige six years ago, it was with the simplest of missions: to help business owners be happier and less stressed while running their growing businesses.

Chantelle said she didn’t get into business just because she wanted to make money. 

“Having a business and a team, for me, is about providing a good service and being able to give back to the community.”

In the early stages Chantelle said she thought about how her Te Awamutu based business, Varntige, could start giving back when money was tight.

“I had seen that BNZ used to do ‘Community Days’, I think they might still do them, but each branch used to go out into the community and help do something for the day. I thought that was a cool idea and that we could do the same thing.”

That’s how Chantelle came up with the idea for a yearly Community Day back in 2017. An initiative that saw Varntige named as a Community Good Award finalist at Rocketspark’s 2021 Launch Awards.

“After I came up with the idea, it was then working out how we were going to find someone to help. We opened up an application process on our website so people could easily come on and register and that meant we could go through and choose.

“We look for people who have a full day's work for us to do. It can be labour, it can be our specialties, it can be anything, it just needs to be enough to keep us busy for the whole day. We want to be somewhere we can provide the most value,” Chantelle said.

Over the years Varntige has helped Stop the Bus, NZ Assistance Dogs, Cambridge Parents Centre, and Mathematics for a Lifetime Trust.

Most recently, Varntige helped the TA Boxing Academy in 2020. 

“They’d been in their premises about a year at the time and it needed a bit of a revamp so we ended up painting their two front offices and their kitchen room. 

“We also designed some flyers for them and found some places where they could apply for funding because they had said that took up a lot of their time. It was a really cool day, they even shouted us lunch.

“It’s an easy way for us to give back. It’s not a big deal for us to take one day out of the office a year in order to give back to our community and do something nice,” Chantelle said.

For its Community Day this year Varntige will be spending a day out at Takiwatanga Sanctuary Trust, a not-for-profit organisation offering Rescue and Rehoming for animals and experiences for autistic children and their families. 

“They have 500 animals that they look after and they are quite new so they want us to help them set up things a bit better for them.”

Chantelle said it was really nice to be a finalist in the Community Good Award this year.

“I loved what Amanda Livingston, the winner of the award said, if we don’t show that we are all doing these little bits for the community it doesn’t create awareness around it and encourage other businesses to make it part of normal practice.

“I think giving back should be part of what you do as a business, how you do it can be different for every business, but it’s just about giving back. 

“Rocketspark makes it easy, because Rocketspark gives so much so it makes it easy for partners to come on board and do the same,” Chantelle said.

Rocketspark announced at Launch 2021 that it would be giving every design partner a free not-for-profit website to give to an organisation of their choice, the initiative is called Gift-it-forward.

Chantelle said before the announcement her team had just decided they wanted to do a free website build every year at Christmas time for a not-for-profit. 

“We wanted it to be a Christmas giveaway, and now that Rocketspark is giving away the website for free too, it’s going to make this year's one completely free, which is so cool,” she said.

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