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New Council community fund invites applications

New Council community fund invites applications

A new Gisborne District Council funding initiative to support community groups with community projects is inviting applications. The Community-led Development Matching Fund aims to support community-led projects to build stronger and healthier communities.

Some of the best ideas to develop our neighbourhoods are owned and led by community groups, says community planning and development group manager Nedine Thatcher-Swann. “Council regularly gets requests from groups for assistance with funding for a wide range of often very worthwhile projects. Council wants to support community-led projects and now has a small fund available to do this. In the past there has been no provision in our planning to assist these requests.”

“Funding will go to projects that empower people to work in their own neighbourhood; get communities working together revitalising shared places and spaces or sharing their talents and skills on neighbourhood projects. These will be projects that the community wants; they will not be directed by Council. Our role is simply to assist with funding.”

“Council is looking at matching people’s effort rather than giving a hand out. The emphasis is on self help. Applications must show what the group is contributing to the project. This could be volunteer involvement as well as fundraising, gifts, donated goods, services or donations from other funders.”

“The idea of a matching fund was mooted after a visit last year from Seattle-based community development champion Jim Diers. His passion for community building and participatory democracy is based on decades of experience with grassroots community organisations and government organisations.”

Applications for small grants up to $200 can be made at any time and decisions are made within two weeks of the application being received by Council.

Applications for medium grants up to $5000 will also be available through three rounds per year. The first round is currently open for applications until 31 March 2014. There will be two more rounds in June and October.

Further details and application forms are from Council’s website or from Customer Service in Fitzherbert Street or Te Puia Springs.

ENDS

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