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First Look At Community Internship Programme

The Green MP who inspired a scheme to encourage people with diverse skills to work with community groups gets her first opportunity to see how the initiative is working tomorrow.

Green Party Social Services spokeswoman, Sue Bradford will visit the Golden Bay Work Centre Trust in Takaka, where the first intern has been employed as part of the Community Internship Programme.

"The idea for the programme grew from my many years working in the community sector," said Sue Bradford. "I've had a lot of personal experience in trying to maximise what little money is available to community groups."

The internship programme is one of the Green Party Budget initiatives, approved by the Government and administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Funding for this year has been increased to over $500,000, to allow for the placement of up to 20 individuals with experience in the public and private sectors with community groups that need their expertise but wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them.

The aim of the programme is to strengthen the capacity of community groups to function by developing relationships with the public and private sectors and utilising the special skills of individuals with a background in those sectors.

Tomorrow's visit is the first chance for Sue Bradford and representatives from Internal Affairs to check on the progress of the scheme, but Sue is hoping that further funding can be found to keep the scheme running through the next financial year.

"Already I'm receiving enquiries from groups who have heard about the scheme and are keen to pick it up," said Sue Bradford. "There's a lot of enthusiasm out there."


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