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$30,000 grant completes MenzShed dream

10 February 2014

Auckland

$30,000 grant completes MenzShed dream

• Jetstar awards $30,000 to MenzShed for vital Kaiapoi shed

• Local projects to benefit from decades of expertise via retired tradesmen

• Supporting men’s mental health, wellbeing and community service

MenzShed was announced today as the eighth recipient of the Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant, receiving $15,000 travel and $15,000 cash to be used for building a much-needed metal working shed to support the people of Kaiapoi in Canterbury.

The MenzShed organisation brings men together in a community space to share their skills, have a laugh, and work on practical tasks individually (personal projects) or as a group (for the Shed or community). Over 50 Sheds exist around New Zealand with the aim of nurturing the mental health and wellbeing of all the members of the group, within a friendly environment.

Each MenzShed set up includes a wood work and metal work shed to house donated tools, equipment and resources for the free service. The Kaiapoi branch currently only has a wood working shed, significantly restricting the number of projects possible, despite enormous demand from community groups needing expert assistance as well as locals keen to get involved in the group.

MenzShed Kaiapoi Secretary, Frank Overend, says the Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant has come at a critical time as local funds were almost depleted.

“Jetstar has truly turned a precarious dream into a reality. Donations are essential to maintain the service and the 26 strong group of talented tradesmen (albeit mostly retired) at our Shed will definitely increase in numbers now, and many projects which have been ‘cotton-wooled’ will now take off.

“We’re also really excited to use the travel portion of grant to bring together MenzShed organisations across the country and to fly New Zealand MenzShed members to meetings in Australia.”

Grant Kerr, Head of Jetstar New Zealand, said he was impressed with the valuable service that MenzShed offered communities all over New Zealand.

“MenzShed contributes to all of ages of the community – it provides an opportunity for people to learn new skills, give back to the community and use their free time in a productive way.”

Jetstar Flying Start Programme judge and rugby league legend Steve Price said the work MenzShed did in the community and beyond was most impressive.

“There were some great applicants but Menzshed really stood out for the work they do and how they give back to the community. It’s great to see old values and habits being passed on in today’s world – MenzShed gives guys both young and old a chance to work together and create something useful for the whole community.”

Projects already undertaken out of the Kaiapoi MenzShed include constructing and installing planter boxes in Kaiapoi’s main street, fixing fences for the elderly, installing raised gardens, and building public benches and bird houses. Projects in the pipeline range from building and installing honours boards for the local tennis club, making wooden toys for a family charity, mentoring disadvantaged teens and even hosting a ‘ladies night’ to provide helpful practical tips for women in the community.

The Jetstar Flying Start Programme has awarded $210,000 in travel and cash to seven New Zealand not-for-profit organisations since early 2012. Applications for the next grant close at 5.00pm 31 March 2014. Any New Zealand based not-for-profit community group or organisation in need of a Flying Start is encouraged to apply. Full application details and conditions can be found at www.jetstar.com.

2013 Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant recipients

Quarter 1 – Safekids Every year hundreds of Kiwi kids are injuring themselves unnecessarily by not wearing their helmets when riding scooters. Safekids implemented a nation-wide scooter safety awareness programme through schools using the grant to upskill community leaders and scooter-loving kids.

Quarter 2 – Big Buddy Offering a free mentoring service run by dedicated professionals, nearly 500 Kiwi boys have been matched with hand-picked mentors since Big Buddy started in 1997. With growing waiting lists, the grant is being used to expand Big Buddy’s services in the Wellington region, boosting its infrastructure and recruiting much-needed Big Buddies.

Quarter 3 – The Big Bang The Big Bang is a 500-strong group made-up of Strike Percussion, Kora, Wellington community choirs and the 200 young drummers who will perform a unique drumming and vocal performance, titled The Big Bang, to open the bi-annual three-week New Zealand Festival on Friday 21 February. The grant will be used to help facilitate flights and ground costs for hundreds of young people from Christchurch and Auckland to Wellington.

2012 Jetstar Flying Start Programme grant recipients

Quarter 1 – Bellyful - the Kiwi charity providing free, home cooked meals to new families, used the grant to help fund the travel and costs associated with opening new branches around the country including its first ever Christchurch branch in August.

Quarter 2 – Arthritis New Zealand Its grant will create a unique camp for Kiwi kids suffering from arthritis. To be held in Matamata in 2013, the camp will offer young sufferers a chance to meet, learn new skills and build their confidence.

Quarter 3 – Deaf Aotearoa Deaf Aotearoa’s grant is going towards the second annual NZ Deaf and Hearing Impaired Parents Conference and Children’s Camp in January 2013. The grant will give an additional 20 families the opportunity to share the challenges they face raising hearing children and learn from expert speakers and educators. Children who have deaf parents will also be able to meet other kids who have similar experiences.

Quarter 4 – Clown Doctors The grant was used to fund a three-day Medical Clowning training clinic and the Clown Doctors inaugural nationwide appeal – Smile Days in May 2013. Using laughter as medicine all 24 Clown Doctors are now putting their new skills to use in hospitals around New Zealand.

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