Desperately Seeking Barbara


Lachlan Richards is 22 years old. A student from Christchurch he was previously sponsored by variety and is about to head off to Romania in august, for the World Junior Powerlifting Championships.

We need your help to find his long-time sponsor Barbara, from Auckland, so that Lachlan thank her for helping him achieve his dream.

Do you recognise this story? Are you Barbara or a member of her family? Please read below for further details.



“I used to write to her about my life each year, and my mum was always really grateful for the financial support she provided to us for the basics. We would really love to let Barb and her family know what I’m doing now, and how her support has led me to where I am today.” 

 A young Christchurch man on his way to the Powerlifting Junior World Champs in Romania next month is intent on tracking down his Variety NZ sponsor to thank her for helping him make his way to the top of his sport. 

Lachlan Richards (22) will compete from late August, and before he goes wants to tell his Variety sponsor Barb, who helped him and his mum Rachelle for eight years while he was on the Variety Kiwi Kid programme, about what he has achieved and how she has helped. 

However, all contact details Variety has for Barbara have lapsed since Lachlan graduated from the programme in 2018, and Lachlan is hoping a public appeal will find her or her family.  

Barb sponsored Lachlan by paying $50 a month to assist Rachelle with the bills associated with school fees and uniforms, clothing and bedding for him, and also sent him gifts for his birthdays and at Christmas. 

“Barb used to send me a Christmas box each year filled with food, toys and other gifts, as well as sponsoring me monthly for things my mum was struggling to pay for, like school camp, uniforms and clothing,” Lachlan explains. 


When Lalchan met his sponsor Barb

What we know…

Barbara was last in contact with Variety in 2018 and hasn’t been in touch since. While Variety is unable to release her last name for privacy reasons, we can say that Barbara lived in Auckland City and Variety have been unable to find or contact her on the information we have on our files.

It is very important to Lachlan and his mum Rachelle that Barbara is informed about his upcoming trip and competition, and that they can thank her again for her support of Lachlan during times when life was tough financially for the family. They would love to be in contact with her or any of her family.

Please help us find Barbara for Lachlan and Rachelle.

How a sponsor can affect a child living in poverty or deprivation…


“Despite the fact that sponsors, sponsored children and caregivers do not know each other personally, they have a shared respect and our Variety families are incredibly grateful for the support they receive from very generous sponsors so their children don’t miss out on the essentials.

For Lachlan, that meant his mum didn’t need to worry about costs for school uniforms and sporting gear, in particular, but for other families it might mean bedding, warm clothing, having extra tuition or school costs like stationery or electronic devices.

“In fact, many families consider our sponsors as dear friends and are very fond of them. As Lachlan’s mum Rachelle says, ‘It would be wonderful to tell Barb what a lovely young man her sponsored child has turned into’.

“We have more than 7000 children in our Variety Kiwi Kids programme being supported by more than 4000 sponsors, and many share the same bond as this family has with Barbara. It is very heart- warming and we love that Variety can facilitate this kind of relationship between young Kiwis, their caring families and generous New Zealanders of every generation.”    - Susan Glasgow (CEO, Variety)


Get in touch if you know Barbara

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