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Grants worth $6m to tackle tough social issues


Media Release

Tackling the region's tough issues

A commitment of over $6,000,000 has been made by ASB Community Trust to support innovative responses to some of the toughest social issues in the Auckland and Northland regions.

New approaches to solve the complex social issue of street homelessness, prevention and intervention programmes to empower vulnerable young people and their families, and an innovative approach to youth services were awarded multi-year grants in the Trust's latest funding round.

"These multi-year grants are a result of the Trust’s commitment to fund projects that have the potential to deliver a significant social impact for our region," ASB Community Trust CEO Jennifer Gill says. "Through our Catalysts for Change programme we identify issues facing our region, identify the not-for-profit organisations with expertise around particular issues, and invite them to apply for sustained support over several years.

"Our first major investments, in Māori and Pacific education initiatives, were made in 2009 and 2010. These have delivered some excellent results, with the Ministry of Education now picking up one of the programmes to be replicated at over 100 schools. We are confident our latest investments will deliver a similar result."

The Trust’s latest investments are with Auckland’s Lifewise, which provides critical services to vulnerable and at-risk people of all ages, Rodney district’s Springboard programme for youth at risk, and Whangarei Youth Space which will provides a range of youth services.


Lifewise aims to move the response to homelessness from a charitable model based on hand-outs towards providing opportunities for inclusion and independence. ASB Community Trust's grant of $2,000,000 to Lifewise will enable them to continue to address the causes of street homelessness, prevent young people entering life on the street, and help existing street homeless towards independence.


Springboard’s ‘youth at risk’ prevention and intervention programmes, include alternative education, youth offender intervention, work-readiness and work transition programmes. The Springboard Model places high risk young people at the centre of a web of supportive family and community members, targeting their entire social eco-system. The success of the Springboard approach has attracted the interest of other communities and the ASB Community Trust grant of $2,018,808 will help Springboard replicate its model in other parts of the Auckland and Northland regions.

Whangarei Youth Space

The Northland district has some of the most challenging social, health and economic indicators in the country. A grant of $2,079,503 from the ASB Community Trust to the Whangarei Youth Space will help address the multiple needs of young people in and around Whangarei including establishing a facility that brings together operational programmes of social and recreational activities, youth development, and youth health and support services. Located in the former Whangarei Art Museum in Cafler Park, Youth Space will lead a number of youth initiatives and work collaboratively with organisations, agencies and employers to assist young people into education, training and employment.

The Youth Space Youth Group have been an equal partner in the Youth Space development and fully involved in the planning, design and decision-making. Fifty percent of the trustees on the Whangarei Youth Space Trust will be young people aged 18 – 25.

Social impact

"Each of these organisations is already achieving results," Jennifer Gill says. "By providing secure funding over five years, and support to these organisations to deliver on their ideas, and help monitor and evaluate progress, our aim is to see a greater social impact from their initiatives."

The major investments are part of an annual programme of grants that sees between $30 and $40 million a year distributed across the Auckland and Northland regions to support not-for-profit organisations, and the development of significant community assets.


About ASB Community Trust

ASB Community Trust makes grants to groups and projects in Auckland and Northland each month. Using funds from the sale of its shareholding in the Auckland Savings Bank, the Trust has granted more than $700m since being formed in 1988.

Any incorporated or charitable trust in Auckland and Northland can apply for funds, provided they are a not-for-profit organisation.

Our vision is to enhance the lives of all the people of our region by responsibly managing our investments and effectively making grants in our community. For more details about applying, visit the Trust’s website: www.ASBCommunityTrust.org.nz

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