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Welcomed Funding Boost For Community Groups

Thirty community groups have received a funding boost with the allocation of $245,000 in community grants funding at the end of last month.

Each year, Hastings District Council distributes the community grants fund to a diverse range of groups and organisations working to improve the lives of residents in the district.

This year 57 applications were received requesting a total of $662,000, which was narrowed down to fit within the total budget of $245,000.

Council group manager community wellbeing and services Alison Banks said priorities for the funding allocation were to support those who could demonstrate they were uplifting our communities’ wellbeing by providing access to help and advice, were fostering a sense of pride within the district and across its diverse communities, and were promoting happy, healthy and active communities.

“This year, those groups ranged from those supporting youth through education, mentoring and other development opportunities to health and therapy programmes for all ages, and environmental programmes.

“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown, the community grants team worked hard to ensure access to these grants and funding opportunities could be achieved,” she said.

Committee chairman Malcolm Dixon said the result of this year’s round was very pleasing and helps empower community groups to make a difference in our community.

Many groups need access to funds to carry on their work or start new projects, and he said it was always very difficult to make choices between such large numbers of worthy applicants doing vital work out in the community.

“This year’s applications for funding totalled more than double what we had available to allocate.

“Councillors involved spent a considerable amount of time assessing and discussing the value of each application under the Zoom environment and without the benefit of listening to presentations from applicants.

“The guidelines we have ensure we carefully assess every application to achieve the best we can for the community and the groups.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said there were many outstanding projects put forward for consideration and we would have liked to have supported everyone.

“These grants support projects that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“All of our community benefits from the services provided by our non-profit groups. We can’t thank them enough, and we are pleased to be able to support them to help our community.

“We will be watching with interest to see how these projects go over the next year.”

For the full list of grants recipients go to https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/index.php/hastings/grants/community-grants-fund#recipients

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