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Extra Support For Canterbury Schoolchildren

The New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission has allocated $2.3 million to increase youth work and social work services in Canterbury schools until 2016.

The Youth Workers in Schools Grant ($1.2 million) will be used to fund 33 extra youth workers and extra hours for current youth workers in 33 earthquake-affected intermediate and secondary schools. The services will be provided by 24-7 YouthWork.

The Social Workers in Schools Grant ($1.1 million) will be used to provide six social workers to earthquake-affected primary and intermediate students who are considered high need, high risk and high priority.

Both grants are using residual funding from the $9.3 million Christchurch Schoolchildren’s Grant, which launched in February 2013. The grant aims to support primary, intermediate and secondary schoolchildren who are experiencing earthquake-related anxiety or behavioural problems and to assist those whose access to activities and resources has been limited by earthquake-related financial hardship.

New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission Chair Sir John Hansen says the Commission is delighted to endorse an extension of assistance to children affected by the earthquakes.

“The Commission has approved two additional grants, which will assist children of all ages who continue to suffer physically and psychologically from the earthquakes,” he says. “Our initial grants helped all members of the community. Since then, we have focused on assisting young people, the elderly, and those with health issues.”

24-7 YouthWork Network Coordinator Jay Geldard says having more youth workers in schools will make a huge difference.

“There is so much need as a result of earthquake-related stress. Our youth workers are noticing an increase in the number of young people who need extra support.”

The New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission held its final meeting on Monday 17 February. It has distributed $89.0 million in grants to 109, 710 recipients. A remaining $14.6 million is ring-fenced for current grants and grants under development.

ENDS

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