Julie Chapman (nee Helson) co-founded the KidsCan Charitable Trust and is currently the CEO. KidsCan is a national charity dedicated to levelling the playing field for New Zealand children living in poverty. It was established to meet the basic physical and nutritional needs of disadvantaged Kiwi children by providing raincoats, shoes and food through low decile schools.
Armed with the knowledge that thousands of Kiwi kids were arriving at school hungry and without adequate shoes or wet weather gear, Julie founded KidsCan with a $40,000 grant from Guardian Trust in August 2005 and to date has provided nearly 20,000 raincoats, 5,000 pairs of shoes and 10,000 pairs of socks.
Under Julie’s tenure, KidsCan has successfully secured sponsorship from adidas, The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery, Number One Shoes and Hanover Finance. Ali Williams and Doug Howlett are patrons and ambassadors include well-known New Zealanders like Mike McRoberts, Anika Moa, Miriama Smith and Jordan Luck.
Julie’s background is in the not-for-profit sector where she has worked for a variety of charities including Women’s Refuge, The First Tee, Victim Support and Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
In 2014 Julie was a finalist in NEXT Woman of the Year and New Zealander of the Year.