The recent $370,000 Social and Recreation Fund grants will be a welcome boost for the 21 organisations that support a diverse range of communities and the environment in the capital.
This fund supports organisations to deliver outcomes that improve community wellbeing, reduce harm, support inclusiveness and community connectedness. Also, those organisations that in recent times have faced increased and new demand for services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Mayor Andy Foster.
“These grants have supported a number of local community run Residents Associations, and environmental organisations like the Wellington Marine Conservation Trust ($26,250) and Papa Taiao – central city urban gardens ($25,796), as they all play a crucial role in strengthening communities and well-being.
“The grants are an investment in community well-being and inclusive neighbourhoods – which is the foundation upon which our city thrives. They are also a vehicle to provide additional support for organisations such as Zeal Wellington who work to keep our young people safe and support a well-managed night-time economy,” adds the Mayor.
The Zeal Wellington Street Youth Work Project was granted $134,260, which will go a long way in supporting the young people of the city, according to Zeal Education Trust Wellington Regional Manager, Britney Marsh.
“This project focuses on engaging the most disconnected young people on Wellington’s CBD streets, many who have fallen through the cracks.
“We have seen first-hand the vulnerability of these young people and the issues around mental health, homelessness and safety, and have worked to provide an innovative coordinated approach to address these concerns.
“This project will involve youth workers going out onto the streets at peak times to connect with vulnerable and disengaged youth in city ‘hot-spots’. We want to reconnect these rangatahi to their communities and support them to build the tools and resilience they need to navigate life. We want to see them flourish,” adds Britney.
Other major recipients include InsideOUT Koāro ($29,187), the Māori Women’s Refuge ($36,637), and the Homeless Women’s Trust ($70,000) – all identified as high priority groups as we move into COVID-19 recovery mode, says Grants Subcommittee Chair and Community Well-being portfolio lead, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.
“These organisations provide shelter, support and safety for some of our more vulnerable members of the community, and with the challenges of COVID-19 there is higher demand for these services.
“We know there are more and more people requiring a helping hand, and resources are stretched, so we are looking at all the ways we can support these groups – and funding is just one of those,” say Councillor Fitzsimons.
The next round of the Social and Recreation Fund is now open for applications closing at the end of October.