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supporting families with cancer


The Trustees and Supporters of A House for Karen would like to acknowledge

- Aviagen NZ Ltd

- HEL Rimu Electrical

- B & C Boniface

- Darrell & Michelle of Move Real Estate New Plymouth

We are grateful and appreciative of their support for our small charity.

A House for Karen is currently unavailable for stays but we are pleased to share that the new roof is now on and weathertight.

We are completing a refurbish inside due to some water damage, which includes re-carpeting.

We expect to reopen in the next 6 months, however a lot of our work relies on incredible local volunteers in order to save costs with the Trust.



On November 6th 2003, Karen Van Dillen lost her fight with cancer, aged 44.


Spending time with family, talking, sharing, walking on the beach, were some of Karen’s most treasured memories.


In Karen’s memory “The Karen Cornelia Trust” has been established, (a charitable trust formed under the Charitable Trust Act 1957) with the vision of supporting families with cancer by providing positive and unique experiences to enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of life.


To enable other families the opportunity to have a special break away, the Trust has embarked on the “A House for Karen” project. The goal was to build a holiday home by the beach as a haven for families suffering with cancer.


The family are provided with a very special experience on a “walk in, walk out” basis.



Following Karen's death, her sister in law, Annamarie Brbich had an idea to provide families suffering with cancer a holiday together, at no expense to the family.

Initially it was intended that, depending on donations from family and friends, a few families may have been given a holiday but eventually the funds would have run out.

From this initial idea, following discussions with family and friends, a larger plan was developed. The idea of having a bach by the sea would give many families the opportunity to have a special holiday on an ongoing basis and following inspired discussion it was decided to form The Karen Cornelia Trust - a Charitable Trust in Karen's memory to achieve this outcome and thus the 'A House for Karen' project was initiated.

The reason why the trustees decided to build a house as opposed to buying an existing bach was to create a unique place in Karen's memory and so that the community, family and friends could all participate in some way.

Given modern building advances it would also allow the bach to be purpose built, low maintenance and allow for wheelchair access and other special needs that the families may require.



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