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Earthquake Appeal grants boost Chch social service agencies

Earthquake Appeal grants bolster Christchurch social service agencies

Grants from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust will boost the ability of the city’s social service agencies to support people most affected by the traumatic events of the past two years.

Prime Minister John Key launched the global Earthquake Appeal after the February 22nd, 2011 earthquake. It is the official fundraiser for the recovery effort for Christchurch and Canterbury.

Money from the appeal fund will go to Christchurch Methodist Mission, Anglican City Mission, Presbyterian Support and Age Concern Canterbury.

The four organisations are among the city’s oldest and most established social service organisations and have a combined history of more than 400 years working to support the people of Christchurch.

The organisations say since the earthquake they have all seen a significant increase in demand for their services as people face new levels of hardship. They will use the grants to meet this growing need.

The Methodist Mission has received funding to provide additional home-based social work for children and families.

Anglican City Mission will use its grant to support a new women’s night shelter and men’s day centre.

Age Concern will fund a community worker who will drive programmes to prevent elder abuse and neglect. Age Concern will also collaborate with Methodist Mission to reduce social isolation.

Some of Presbyterian Support’s funding will also be used to support isolated older people through ‘Home Share’ day programmes. Presbyterian Support will use other funding to provide help to families through schools in Shirley, Brighton, Waimakariri and Selwyn.

Age Concern Canterbury CEO Stephen Phillips said many older people are feeling alone, isolated and lonely as a result of the earthquakes. “This funding will enable us to increase support to some of the city’s most vulnerable people.”

Methodist Mission executive director Mary Richardson said life has changed for many children, families and communities in Christchurch. “Many children and adults are tired and stressed. By working together social agencies can achieve more to help them than could individually.”

Anglican City Missioner Michael Gormon said homelessness has risen as a result of the earthquakes and the funding will help the Mission provide care and shelter to people at risk.

Presbyterian Support regional manager Penny Taylor said her organisation is delighted to receive funding from the Earthquake Appeal to support its work with old and young.

“There is a need for creative and responsive support for all groups impacted by the long term effects of the earthquakes. We are pleased that the funders have taken a co-ordinated approach so we will be able to work with some of our community partners to provide this support,” Penny Taylor said.

Socials service agencies in Christchurch have worked closely together after the earthquakes to identify service gaps and reduce duplication. They thank the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust for its support.

ENDS

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