For our whole lives, Juanita and I have worked and played on the land and in the outdoor environment. It’s definitely made us who we are today. This passion for the outdoors is something that I wish for our kids and grandchildren to have. Outdoor experiences, both work and play, knock the edges off you. They test you and build resilience. Sometimes this resilience barrier is built so high, when people fall, they fall hard.

I know that there needs to be a balance. As I’ve become older, it has become clearer that we have a responsibility to make sure this balance is maintained and protected, and that we must assist so that it can be enjoyed by the future generations to come. For years, I’ve been trying to work out a way of creating a model and method to steward and support 3 key areas. Conservation, Child & Community Wellbeing, and Rural Mental Health.

I’ve realised that you can’t do it all on your own, and the more people that are involved, the more effect we will have. The foundation of Our Backyard Trust will create an avenue to look after people and families that work and play in the outdoors. It helps answer the following questions that I had:

  • How do we provide support to families that are struggling to make ends meet?
  • How do we provide support to grassroots?
  • How can we influence rural people to ask for help?
  • How do we preserve parts of New Zealand?
  • How do we protect animals that roam and work the land?

The key purpose of Our Backyard Trust is to be transparent stewards of the collected funds and distribute them in a responsible way to achieve the questions that I had.

Our Backyard Trust was registered in 2018. We now have a group of like-minded people that are empowered to govern, by way of a board, the funds that are donated and then distributed into projects that support these 3 key areas. Anyone has the ability to put a project forward for consideration.

The best way to do this is to connect through our website: www.ourbackyardtrust.com. You will also see some
of the projects that we have started and have achieved.

The great thing is that you can donate anything from a dollar personally, right through to a large sum if you are a commercial business.

If you want to assist or feel like you have something to offer towards any of these 3 key areas, or a service that you can provide, please enquire through the website or connect with me directly.

At the end of the day, if we can help protect what we genuinely love for the generations to come by providing support through Our Backyard Trust, I’ll die a happy man.

Brent McConnell


Take a look at our video below about our Warm Up The Streets event we have held in partnership with Curate Church for the last few years.