In 2013 the Otago Community Trust Board agreed to commit a percentage of the Trust’s annual donation budget to pro-actively support initiatives that will make a significant difference to the wellbeing of the Otago community.
The Trust has outlined that the Funding for Change Priorities for 2017-18 are as follows:
Since 2013, the Otago Community Trust has worked with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to help fund free insulation into qualifying households.
To date our investment into Warm Homes for Otago has exceeded $1 million. The project has attracted over $4.6 million into the Otago region from all funders involved in OCT’s Warm Home programmes.
Working with local insulation companies Smart Energy Solutions and Technobond, over 1553 houses in Dunedin and across Otago have been insulated to date. Our commitment to Warm Homes will not change in 2017/18, however new funding criteria have come into effective as a result of the 2016 National Government Budget. This will see funding focus on rental properties only for 2017.
In particular focusing on initiatives in the Education, Employment and Training space. Youth, Health and Wellbeing is a particularly important Funding for Change priority for the Otago Community Trust.
Investment in this area literally has the ability to change the lives of our young people. Under this Funding for Change priority the Otago Community Trust focuses support on initiatives in Education, Employment and Training.
For the year ending 31 March we have funded a number of initiatives in the Education, Employment and Training space. We are particularly proud to see our investment in Outward Bound scholarships to Otago secondary school students reach over $1 million.
The Otago Community Trust has supported the region’s cycle ways for many years in recognition that the cycle ways provide employment opportunities and economic benefits to the local communities they serve.
The Trust has supported the Central Otago Rail Trail and more recently the Alps to Ocean Rail Trail with significant donations to ensure trail maintenance is maintained and off road trail sections can be completed.
In May 2016 the Otago Community Trust was delighted to announce it would in principle invest $2 million along with the New Zealand Government ($13m) and the Central Lakes Trust ($11.5m) to create a 536km continuous cycle trail to connect Central Otago’s trail network.
There are a number of issues facing the Otago Region from a rural health perspective. Rural health providers across Otago increasingly have to deliver services differently to more traditional models of care with increasing use of others to support rural health care delivery.
As a result the Otago Community Trust supports telehealth (connecting remote locations with Specialists in urban areas), health education opportunities, equipment, upgrading and redesign of rural medical facilities and access to medical services in rural areas under this Funding for Change priority.
Our significant investment in Rural Health in recent years included a $250,000 donation towards the East Otago Community Health Trust, in support of the East Otago community’s new medical centre.