Linda Roil, who founded Kids in Need Waikato and has helped brighten the lives of thousands of youngsters in care, has been presented with a Cambridge Community Board Community Service Award.
In presenting the award before the June meeting, deputy chairperson Jo Davies-Colley said it was important to honour Linda as one of the community’s ‘outstanding’ individuals.
“She has made a real difference in the lives of children and caregivers in our town. This year alone, Kids in Need has put together 578 care packs for people in our community. We are very grateful to her… Linda is one of the outstanding members of our community.”
The surprised recipient, who mused aloud on how her husband Graeme had succeeded in keeping the award a secret until the presentation itself, said she was very humbled to have received it.
“Thank you so much for this … it is a real honour,” Linda said to family and board members present. “I am lucky to have a great team now, which allows me to step back a bit and enjoy the family.”
Linda and Graeme Roil began fostering children in 2014.
Concerned with the lack of support in place for both foster children and their caregivers, they set in motion a system that saw community donations turned into age-appropriate care-packs for youngsters in need. It included children in foster care, and for grandchildren being raised by their grandparents.
The project grew fast, and in 2018 a charitable trust was established. Kids in Need Waikato now operates out of a purpose-built shed on the Roils’ property and answers a growing need in the community.
Kids in Need has been recognised before. Several years ago, Linda was awarded $6000 from ASB after winning the ASB Good as Gold – Santa Edition Award, and in 2018 she was named the Cambridge News Person of the Year.