Creating Change — Graeme Blake, Founder & CEO, YelloHalo

Stephen Johnson

December 23, 2020

Here at Chive, we are on a mission to empower Kiwis to find and donate to causes they care about. There are some incredible charities doing important work, but at the heart of these organisation’s are inspirational, committed humans.

So we welcome to our second edition of Creating Change, a series we are running to tell the stories of inspirational leaders here in Aotearoa. We hope to inspire you to see the change you can make in your community from these authentic, honest and well… human stories.

This edition tells to story of Graeme Blake, Founder & CEO of YelloHalo

Can you share a little bit about yourself and your journey to date?

Its fair to say I’m unemployable. I’ve been in the change industry for a while now, moving from Wellington to the Waikato my background is in marketing, design and more recently software development.

I currently run a digital advertising agency PAN®, and a software business Blutui and its through the contacts made through both that I’ve been able to create YelloHalo Broadband to benefit frontline Ambulance Officers, Paramedics and Volunteers in New Zealand.

Takes us back a step to the moment you realised you needed to create your charity.

When my daughter was only 6 days old she stopped breathing. The paramedics who resuscitated our baby Pixie did such an incredible thing for our family and we felt we wanted to give back.

The more we researched the ambulance sector the more we discovered a fragmented and underfunded segment of the health system where the people on the front line go largely ignored.

These amazing people are the unsung heroes of the health industry and sacrifice so much for their role in our communities. The more we researched the life of an Ambo the more we realised we needed to help change the narrative around supporting them.

So tell us about YelloHalo — What is it you do and how do you create change?

Through YelloHalo the change we want to make is twofold. We’ve set up YelloHalo as a charitable broadband provider where the profits which would normally go to shareholders or overseas parent companies or mutual fund investors, is channeled to support front line Ambulance Officers and Paramedics.

The model of fund generation is unique in that it’s a hybrid business model underpinning the cause. We’re not asking a person to donate — we are asking them to make a purchasing decision, by giving every New Zealand broadband consumer a mechanism to do the right thing we are leveraging a recurring household spend for good. This can apply to any household utility once the infrastructure is set up to deliver.

As a charity leader, what has been your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge has been battling the nay-sayers, and building trust in the brand quickly. That said through the perseverance of our team and the support of our ambulance community partners and family we’ve successfully launched YelloHalo.

We don’t have the marketing budgets of the big established brands so we need to be smarter and leverage Kiwi hearts and minds rather than the ‘have I got a deal for you’ mentality that presides in the telco sector.

We are amazed by what you are achieving. What is next for you and YelloHalo?

We will create meaningful change for the ambulance community over the coming months and years and have already appointed an amazing Scholarship Director, Sarah Morrison to the Trust. With the right blueprint I’m sure we can create change for other sectors of the community with the YelloHalo model.

What a generous, inspirational and innovative human Graeme is. We are so grateful to represent Graeme and YelloHalo as part of the Chive community. We hope this story left you moved, touched and inspired. If you are a change-maker or want to make a change in your community, reach out to us — hello@chive

All the love, Stephen & Alice

Join Our Community Newsletter

Looking to grow your personal impact? Get a monthly email about generosity in Aotearoa—learn about charities, ways to give and more.

Thank You! We will keep you up to date via email!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We respect your privacy.