Large scale capital projects that will benefit Otago communities featured strongly on the agenda in the March funding round of Otago Community Trust, with the South Otago region benefitting to the tune of $2.8 million.
On the back of recent news that $2.2 million had been approved to support the Clutha Community Hub Charitable Trust, Otago Community Trust is also pleased to announce a $500k grant was approved to support the Clutha Gold Trail Charitable Trust, along with a $120k grant to assist with the development of a new community playground at Waihola.
Barbara Earl from the Waihola Looking Forward committee said thanks to the $120,000 grant from Otago Community Trust, the $200,000 from Clutha District Council, and other fundraising efforts including that from local families and district businesses we are now within reach of completing the Waihola playground redevelopment by the end of December 2022.
“Waihola can be excited at the prospect of having a fantastic new playground facility on the waterfront for the pleasure and enjoyment of increasing numbers of children and families living here and visiting.”
We are looking forward to seeing onsite groundworks commence later this month and will now be busy with the final fundraising effort, Mrs Earl said.
Diccon Sim, chair of Otago Community Trust said there were nice synergies between the two grants.
“The Lawrence to Waihola section of the Clutha Gold Trail has its end and entry point immediately beside the playground and it is envisaged this will bring a significant future increase in visitors to the small community”.
Otago Community Trust was also pleased to award a $65,000 grant to Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust.
Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust chair, Martin Dippie said the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter Service is in the process of replacing rescue and medical equipment. The night vision goggles, dual visor helicopter helmets, a corpuls monitor/defibrillators, and handheld radios will be upgraded and replaced thereby ensuring our key equipment is up to date and improving safety.
“The grant helps us to future-proof our equipment carried on the helicopters, making sure it is up to date. The service provides critical help and is heavily relied on by all communities in the lower South Island, and it is especially critical for people located in rural or isolated areas.”
Other grants approved at the March board meeting included a $50,000 grant to Outram School to assist with the cost of redeveloping and upgrading the school playground. A $21,300 grant was approved to Islington Early Childhood Centre Incorporated to assist with upgrading the centre and East Otago Blokes Shed Soc Inc had a $6,000 grant approved to assist with the cost of purchasing tools to help equip the newly established Men's Shed at Hawksbury Village.
Trust chief executive, Barbara Bridger said Otago Community Trust gave a total of $3,167,718.50 to 20 community organisations in March 2022 which marks the end of the financial year for the trust and brings the grants approved for the year to almost $10.5 million.
“From 1 April 2022 all organisations / community groups who received funding over the last 12 months are eligible to re-apply. We do acknowledge it is a challenging time for our communities and community groups and our key message is that we remain open for funding requests and are here to help.”