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SAGES funding now available nation-wide

19 April 2005 Media Statement

SAGES funding now available nation-wide

Funding for the government's $3.2 million SAGES programme will now be available nation-wide, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

SAGES involves older people providing one-on-one life and home skills to young families in need. The initiatives first round of funding was available in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu-Wanganui and Otago. The next funding round will be open to groups throughout the country.

“The SAGES initiative recognises that many young families do not have access to supportive older mentors,” Steve Maharey said. "Older New Zealanders are a valuable source of wisdom and the government is keen to have young families benefit from their knowledge."

SAGES volunteers provide information, encouragement, practical advice and support to families in areas such as budgeting, nutritious cooking, positive parenting and networking.

Already, eight organisations in the original four regions have been selected to receive funding to deliver SAGES. They are Kaipara SAGES, Ngati Hine Health Trust in Northland, Runanga Ngai Tamawharina and Te Ha O Te Whanau, both of which are in the Bay of Plenty, Supergrans Horowhenua, Supergrans Wairarapa, Supergrans Aotearoa in Palmerston North and Supergrans Dunedin.

Further funding is available this year for the initiative to be expanded nationally. Applications for the second round of SAGES funding will be available in May 2005.

The government announced in the 2004 Budget that it is investing $3.2 million over four years to cover the training and transport costs of older volunteers, administration support and capacity building. It is expected that 2,000 families will take part in the SAGES programme by 2008.

Application forms will be available on the Family and Community Services website www.familyservices.govt.nz in May and will close on 15 July 2005.

ENDS

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