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Western BOP Community Groups Receive $177,600 In Covid-19 Recovery Funding

The WBOP COVID-19 Recovery Fund has paid out an additional $177,600 in funding to local community groups struggling with increased demand or income shortfall due to Covid-19.

The successful recipients include Youth Search and Rescue, BOP Classic Aircraft Trust, AphasiaNZ, Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, Shakti Ethnic Women’s Support Group, The Boys Brigade NZ, Families Achieving Balance, Live for More, and Big Buddy Mentoring.

The Recovery Fund aims to support key Western Bay NFPs and NGOs to survive the medium-term impact of Covid-19, to ensure continued service delivery, capability to deliver and ability to meet financial commitments. The joint fund is phase two of the Covid-19 response by local funders TECT, Acorn Foundation, BayTrust and Tauranga City Council.

BOP Classic Aircraft Trust lost the ability to generate income through the Classic Flyers café and function rooms during lockdown. But fixed costs still had to be paid such as rent, electricity, maintenance and staffing, leaving them in a difficult financial position.

David Love, Classic Flyers Board Chairman, says the Recovery funding will allow them to continue providing their services to the wider community.

“We are a not-for-profit registered charity. As far as possible, we try to be self-funding with the income from our cafe, events we host, and the use of our facilities by businesses for meetings, to meet our substantial outgoings.

“Our hangar space is rented from the airport authorities who own the airfield through the City Council, and we have professional staff who we need to run a commercial catering facility. We have large outgoings in insurance and all of these and other outgoings to pay before we start to fund the charitable activity.

“The advent of the Covid-19 lockdown was hugely worrying for us as all our income streams were severed. We did whatever we could to reduce the overheads; very reluctantly we had to give redundancy to a number of our loyal staff but had no room to wriggle to make other substantive savings.

“The Recovery funding from TECT, Bay Trust, Acorn and TCC came as a huge relief to us in that we did not have to suffer a huge debt to continue to operate when we moved to Level 2.”

The Boys Brigade NZ National Director Michael Good says the $9,000 in funding received will enable them to provide additional support to schools since Covid-19.

“We were incredibly fortunate to receive the initial Rapid Response Funding from our local funders which helped us deliver our ICONZ Edge programme for an additional day per week in schools for three months after lockdown. The programme uses hands-on activities to build resilience, self-belief & great attitudes towards life learning.

“This Recovery funding will allow us to continue this additional support until the end of the year. We have experienced loss of income from small business sponsors and gaming funds, whilst demand has soared.

“Across the country, some school students have struggled after an extended period away from school, where the home experience may not have been a positive one, and Tauranga is no exception. ICONZ Director Stu Thompson is in the schools delivering the programmes, and says the intense stress many families are currently under is impacting children directly and this is showing up with some pretty challenging behaviours at school. Recent conversations he’s had with several primary school principals has highlighted increasing needs in terms of children’s support.

“The schools are so glad to have us delivering the programme and feedback is that it is making a real difference in the students attitudes’ and wellbeing. It’s thanks to our local funders that we can do that.”

Families Achieving Balance has been receiving an increasing number of referrals since March, particularly from those experiencing family violence, anxiety and loss of work.

Social Worker Carrie Matkovich says their small team have had to increase their hours to meet this demand, but feel a sense of relief that the Recovery funding will help get them through.

“It has been crucial that we have more staffing hours to accommodate the needs of our community. With the second wave of Covid-19, demand is only going to increase, and as essential workers we will be supporting those who need support at such a difficult time.

“Our work involves supporting vulnerable clients, helping them to navigate through systems to access food, support and other service providers in the community, providing extensive one-on-one support, grandparent support groups and youth programmes.

“The $14,000 we received through the Recovery Fund will allow us to provide six months of additional social work support. Whatever happens with the lockdown levels going forward, we as a team are prepared to continue to deliver our services and feel a great sense of relief that we have the funders’ support behind us.”

The COVID-19 Recovery Fund is open for applications, which can be made online through the TECT website (https://www.tect.org.nz/covid-19-recovery-fund/). There is no closing date of the fund. It is an open funding round and applications are considered fortnightly.

Community groups who received business as usual funding, and Rapid Response funding, may still be eligible to apply to the Recovery Fund.

© Scoop Media

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