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Every Child Counts In Paeroa

Every Child Counts In Paeroa

Paeroa's Skate and Leisure Centre will undergo a refurbishment to provide additional space for new children's activities, with support from a SKYCITY Hamilton Community Trust grant.

The previously unused upstairs area of the Skate and Leisure centre will become a Children's Art House. Renovations include demolition work, new stairs, addition of a bathroom and a kitchen with new dishwashers. The Children's Art House will provide music tuition (piano, guitar and drums), holiday programmes for children and, shortly, a breakfast club for children and youth.

Melanie Budge, Paeroa Community Support Trust, says the children have been fantastic throughout the renovations and they're eager to be involved in the activities.

"Music tuition started a short time ago and we've had to use a temporary space until the renovations are finished. Our centre will be home to some great events for children and the community. The Children's Art House is going to be a wonderful place to run all our children's programmes."

During Easter the NZ Children's Art House Foundation Trust exhibited hundreds of artworks produced by children, at the Easter Show held in Auckland. The artwork is now in Paeroa to be exhibited on 16 April at the new Children's Art House in 120 Normandy Road, Paeroa. The theme for the artwork is 'Every Child Counts'. Every Child Counts is a project aimed at supporting children and youth developed in partnership with Barnardos, UNICEF, Save the Children New Zealand, Plunket, Maori Women's Welfare League, National Network of stopping Violence, Institute of Public Policy and Auckland University of Technology.

"Children can tell their story through their artwork, incorporating their dreams and ideas. Paeroa women spent hours making 8 x 2 metre high banners, for the Easter Show, with every child's name handwritten on them, to raise the profile of children in New Zealand and giving them a chance to have their ideas heard," says Mrs Budge.

Margaret Evans, Chairperson SKYCITY Hamilton Community Trust says, "The Trust is thrilled to contribute towards the costs of establishing an improved community centre, where children can learn and develop their creative and social skills. It's wonderful that these children are being given the opportunity to express themselves through art and music."

The SKYCITY Hamilton Community Trust was established in 2003, as part of the SKYCITY Hamilton licence application process, to provide funds for community and charitable purposes. To date, the Trust has distributed more than $850,000 in grants to the Waikato Community and recently announced the successful recipients from its second funding round.


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