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Small grants will make big impact

EASTLAND Community Trust believes its latest funding round alone will help boost the local economy by almost $1 million, as well as helping to feed schoolchildren and help get young Maori into work. The trust’s community organisations minor funding pool recipients have been announced, with a wide variety of community organisations and projects receiving support.

An ECT spokeswoman said these included the New Zealand Concert Band’s national festival, which would receive $7000; a $5000 grant for Poverty Bay Hockey to host the New Zealand Secondary School Mixed Hockey Tournament; and $5000 for Tairawhiti Softball Association to host the National Under-15 Boys Softball Tournament. ECT also supported Gizzy Food Month with a $9000 grant, while the Gisborne A and P Show receives $10,000, and the Ease Up Tairawhiti’s Maori sports awards receive $6500.

“ECT has shown support for hosting a number of upcoming national events, which will collectively attract more than 1500 people to the region and are estimated to contribute $900,000 to the local economy.”

Including a $1000 grant for Te Kuri Walkway, $8972 for Gizzy School Lunches and $10,000 for Matapuna Training Centre, ECT distributed a total of $62,472 this round.

Driver licence trainingMatapuna chief executive Jodie Cook said the $10,000 grant would go towards running the centre’s youth driver licensing programme, which aimed to ensure an additional 50 young people would gain either a restricted or full driver’s licence through the Matapuna programme.

“All the regional data shows that not holding at least a restricted licence presents a significant barrier to our young people gaining employment. Often cost is a factor but so, too, is a lack of access to vehicles and a mentor willing to teach.”

The programme would widen the impact of existing WINZ and Nga Ara Pai mentoring programmes, and would support youth who did not qualify for those existing schemes.

“What we expect to see is more employable youth, as well as safer young drivers who are more confident and engaged.”

Gizzy School LunchesGizzy School Lunches committee member Belinda Mackay said their $8972 grant would help the volunteer group prepare school lunches for 170 children.

“So that we can provide a long-term service and make a real difference, we do charge parents a nominal fee — $5 for five lunches a week for one child, then $1 a week per additional child. However, it costs about $8 a week to prepare a child’s lunch, so there is a significant shortfall.

“We are grateful for ECT’s grant. It is just over $8000 and will help towards meeting that shortfall while also ensuring that we continue to run an organisation fit-for-purpose, with all the food handling certificates and equipment that we need for food storage and lunch distribution.”

New distribution processUnder the new distributions process, the community organisations minor funding pool is designed to support organisations and activities requiring up to $10,000. In total, just over $195,000 worth of applications were received in this round.

The next funding round for both the minor and major funding pools closes on July 29, 2016. Those interested in making an application are encouraged to download the application form from the ECT website www.ect.org.nz

Funding to the tune of $7000 goes towards the New Zealand Concert Band’s national festival. This file photo from 2012 is of the Gisborne Concert Band performing at Hawke's Bay festival of bands.