Council grants boost post-lockdown recovery

3 September 2020

This week, the Wellington City Council provided funding of $340K to 40 organisations that support local community needs across arts, culture, well-being and the natural environment – including those addressing issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image of Take 10 on site in Courtenay Place supporting service users

Take 10 in Courtenay Place

Many will now receive grants for projects and programmes set up in response to the immediate needs of the Wellington community impacted by the lockdown and ensuing alert level changes, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“Our grants help achieve the Council’s objectives and strategic priorities, but they have become even more vital now with so many groups and organisations needing our support as they go on to support members of the community during these challenging times.

“Lockdown also again showed how special our natural environment is to us, and the mental and physical health benefits it provides. During lockdown, while still observing social distancing, it was great to see so many people enjoying the green belt area in my part of Wellington.   

“We decided to back groups with one round for the Natural Environment Fund this financial year, it’s a great result seeing over $50K being approved for some amazing projects that will contribute to protecting, respecting, restoring and growing the precious taonga surrounding us.”

The Grants Subcommittee also agreed to allocate $95,000 to the Vulnerable Support Charitable Trust (VSCT) for the Friday night provision of Take 10, says Community Well-being portfolio lead Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.

“Take 10 is a late night safe zone in the city where people of all ages can just stop, relax, play, meet, greet, get help, get support or just get a cup of water.  

“Emergency response data from our outreach agencies indicates Friday nights are showing a higher proportion of alcohol related harm for the three months from May-July this year compared to last year, especially between 9pm and midnight.

“This supports the proposal to provide additional funding to extend Take 10 to Friday nights – and will help go towards ensuring everyone, especially young people, have a safe and enjoyable night out.”

The Council has previously provided funding for the Take 10 Saturday service, which has successfully provided a safe haven for thousands of people during that time.

“Since November 2019, we had over 100,000 people use our services whether it be to charge their phone, take a break, play a game, have a water, meet up with friends, help to get home, connect with our team, or receive basic medical attention. In that time we have given out over 80,000 cups of water,” says Leigh Keown, VSCT Community Coordinator.

“Wellington City Council’s ongoing support of Take 10 strengthens our partnerships with other organisations and reiterates the importance of what we all do to keep Wellington Central City a safe place to be when out at night.”

The Grants Subcommittee also supported 31 projects with grants totalling $177,583, through the Arts and Culture Fund, including three projects supported for professional performing arts fund, and six projects received $50,824 from the Natural Environment Fund.