With one in four Kiwis identifying as disabled and only 22% of disabled people employed, KPMG is proud to recognise Disability Pride Week by announcing our official partnership with The Cookie Project.
After unofficially supporting this incredible social enterprise since its inception, KPMG has now signed up as a corporate partner for The Cookie Project – a social enterprise that empowers Kiwis with disabilities to not only make delicious handmade cookies but also understand their own value to themselves and to society through paid employment.
Established in June 2018 by founders Graeme Haddon (who is a caregiver to three disabled youths) and Eric Chuah, The Cookie Project has over 30 people with disabilities on their roster (and 50+ on the waitlist) being paid to bake delicious cookies, and have just hit the shelves of selected New World supermarkets.
The Cookie Project is leading the employment sector by having a pan-disability recruitment policy and welcome all types of disabilities in their kitchen. To date, they've employed bakers with autism, down syndrome, mental disabilities, fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, bipolar disorder and blindness, among others.
“The value the KPMG team have given us to date is incredible, and we're very thankful for their continuous support of our social enterprise,” says Co-founder Eric Chuah. “We are honoured to welcome them on board as our official corporate partner, and look forward to working more closely together.”
"It's important for us to have partners who believe in our mission of providing employment pathways for those who've been discriminated against due to their disability,” adds Co-founder Graeme Haddon. “We thank KPMG for partnering with us in breaking down social stigmas in Aotearoa.”
KPMG has been involved with The Cookie Project in many ways, from corporate volunteering by our team members, to providing pro-bono accounting and advisory services to help The Cookie Project make a difference to the lives of New Zealanders with disabilities. The firm also uses the cookies for catering and as corporate gifts.
“I have had the pleasure of meeting the founders and volunteering in the kitchen with our KPMG staff and The Cookie Project team – it was a real privilege to see the difference we make and how it provides an opportunity for more New Zealanders to contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity,” says KPMG Executive Chairman Ross Buckley.
Special thanks and acknowledgement goes to KPMG Senior Manager Andrew Siew, who initiated our partnership and coordinates our involvement with The Cookie Project, alongside KPMG Partner Carl Seymour and Assistant Manager Samantha Shanley, who provide pro-bono accounting and advisory services, and KPMG’s Citizenship Manager Justine Todd for coordinating our corporate volunteering.
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