The Cheeky Kea Charitable Trust is a New Zealand-based non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping those who have limited opportunities into self-employment. We help those who can't work due to disability, age, or socio-economic disadvantage to write their own success stories.
Our Primary Goals
- To help people with disabilities and/or socio-economic disadvantages attain financial independence.
- To alleviate poverty through education, by helping disadvantaged persons train to start their own businesses or participate in the international freelance market.
- To help alleviate poverty specific to the arts sector, by helping creators access the resources and information they need to reach financial and creative success.
- To bring together communities with a language barrier and make the world a more friendly place for all.
- To remove limitations in any way we can for people who have few other options.
Cheeky Kea became a Charitable Trust on the 19th of February 2018 (Companies Office #2695712, NZBN: 9429046610805), and a registered charity on the 13th of July, 2018 (Charities Registration #CC55532).
If you would like to help, please see the Help Us tabs of this website, or read on to learn more about who we are and how we operate.
Q. Where did Cheeky Kea come from?
A. The Cheeky Kea brand originated as the personal brand of author, artist, and entrepreneur, V. L. Dreyer. It has evolved a lot over the years and branched out into a few different sub-brands, including CK Printworks and CK Swagworks. In the early days, CKP just published Ms. Dreyer's books, under her pen names V. L. Dreyer and Abigail Hawk, but in October 2017 it began the process of expanding into the entity it is today.
Q. Who is V. L. Dreyer? Is she a real person?
A. No, I am a fabulous, neon-haired robot fuelled by sass and caffeine. Just kidding, I'm a person, though that would be pretty cool. My real name is Victoria Dreyer, and I really do live in New Zealand. I am an international best-selling science fiction author with over a decade of experience in publishing. I am still fuelled by sass, but I had to kick my caffeine addiction for health reasons. It is not recommended to approach me in the early mornings just yet.
Q. Who else is on the Board of Trustees?
In 2018, the Board of Trustees consists of Victoria Dreyer, Glenys Dreyer, and Lance Barker. We hope to add more Trustees in the future, who can bring new skills and new ideas to our project.
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. It was originally just for fun, something to keep me busy and feeling fulfilled while I was out for the count due to my own disabilities and health issues, but I later came to realise that it could become something so much more. When I first started planning Cheeky Kea as it is today, I intended for it to be a for-profit business, so I put together a business plan and approached a couple of business mentors. While I was chatting away with one of them and telling her about my idea, she said, "I think you're barking up the wrong tree, Victoria. You keep talking about wanting to help people, not wanting to get rich. You don't actually want a business. You want a non-profit."
The more we talked about it, the more it just made sense. This project is very personal to me, for a number of reasons. As much I hate to admit it, I am disabled. I have a prolapsed spinal column that makes walking very difficult, and I later developed an inner ear condition that is slowly robbing me of my balance and my ability to hear. In 2012, when I was working in a call centre, I was told that I was probably going to go deaf. All I could think was, "What kind of jobs can you even do if you're deaf and have a serious spinal injury?"
I was lucky enough to find my own answer through a little creative reasoning and a lot of guts, but I remember how it felt and I don't want anyone else to feel that way. There are people out there who need help, people who may be suffering and frightened and alone in a world that doesn't know what to do with them. When I was in my early twenties, back before I became an author, I met a young man who suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We talked a lot about our shared interests, and he revealed to me that even though he was bed-ridden and barely able to use his limbs, somehow he'd managed to write a book. He knew he wouldn't live to see it published, but he was so proud of that book and he dreamed that his words would outlive him. When he asked me to read the book, I agreed - and I enjoyed the story immensely! My friend passed away many years ago at the grand old age of 25. Sadly, I no longer have contact with his family so I can't help make his dream a post-posthumous reality, but I know there are others in similar situations today.
And then, there's my mum. For the last twelve years or so, my mother was working as a research assistant for a sole trader. In September 2016, her employer had a devastating stroke and his family shut the business down because there was little to no hope of him ever recovering fully. At the age of 57, my mum lost her job, her best friend, and her only means of supporting herself. Not only that, but she was left without a single reference on her resume. All her past employers are either dead or incapacitated. I spent a year watching her applying for job after job, and getting only silence in return. She tried so hard not to let me see her crying, but I knew. It was agony to watch.
After a lifetime spent giving it all to her employers, my mum was approaching retirement and suddenly no one wanted her. This smart, capable, hard-working woman has been abandoned by the society she'd nurtured since she was a teenager. Watching her suffer made me acutely aware of the problems faced by many people as they get older. Many employers are simply not willing to hire older folks, and many of the jobs that are available to them are too physical for their ageing bodies to cope with.
But, there are some careers where age and physical capability is not an issue...
The hard part is getting started in that industry, learning the skills, and avoiding the pitfalls. Cheeky Kea is my chance to use my experiences - both in the past and the ones I haven't had yet - to help others find their way into careers that match their skills and challenges. As of September 2017, my mum began training as a freelance editor. She's regained her sense of self-worth and is learning how to run her own business.
The internet is the key to the careers of the future, because it offers a vast number of opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life. As human lives get longer and the economy swings towards a more digital marketplace, there will be more and more opportunities, if you know where to find them. I can't even pretend to know all of them yet, but I'm going to learn - and help you get there, too.
Q. What kind of disadvantaged people do you want to help?
A. Our key goal is to help anyone who is unemployable due to factors beyond their control, including:
- Physical disability,
- Language barriers,
- Physical isolation (e.g. people in remote communities),
Q. Are you a religious organisation?
A. No, we are not. We are fully secular as an organisation, but we welcome people from all faiths and walks of life.
Q. I'm disadvantaged. Can you help me?
A. We'd certainly like to try! Please Contact Us so we can have a chat about your needs.
Q. Can you give me money?
A. Unfortunately, as we are a charitable entity with limited financial resources, we are unable to offer grants or scholarships at this time. We hope that will change in the future. However, we will do our best to guide you towards any grants and scholarships you may be eligible to apply for.
Q. Can I volunteer with you?
A. Absolutely! Please Contact Us so we can discuss your interests and see if we have something that would interest you going on.