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NPDC Fund Gives Wings To Grassroots Groups 3 December 2020

Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust secretary Owen Williams and pilot Eloise Campbell. NPDC has given the trust $15,000 from its Community Fund.

Welcome aboard the airline whose check-in never closes – because your life might depend on it.

Pilot Eloise Campbell and Flight Nurse Hamish Hardy are flight crew for the Taranaki Air Ambulance Trust (TAAT), flying up to 15 people a week to hospitals around the country for vital medical care – and NPDC’s Community Fund, which got a $450k boost as part of NPDC’s $20m Back On Our Feet Covid relief package, helps them get there.

TAAT runs on the goodwill of the community and this year the NPDC fund put in $15,000 to update the trust’s donor database and to buy two new laptops to help with administration.

“In the last year, the Taranaki Air Ambulance has carried about 500 people for life-changing or life-saving medical care that’s not available in our region. Taranaki is now the only region in the country with an independent air ambulance service. The generosity of our people and sponsors, including support from the NPDC Community Fund, keeps us in the air,” says TAAT Trustee and Manager David Drummond.

Grassroots and volunteer groups have provided boots on the ground to help people weather the Covid storm and get the district back in its stride since lockdown, says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

“These groups put the life into Lifestyle Capital and make sure the wheels don’t fall off in the tough times, so we need to help them help us,” says Mayor Holdom.

Applications for funding are open till 17 January next year and more details can be found on the NPDC website, newplymouthnz.com, or by calling the Community Partnerships Team on 06-759 6060.

Other measures in the $20m Back On Our Feet package included:

· $8m in rates relief with the deferment of payments for six months or a year.

· $7.5m to expand the Home Energy Scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener.

· $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders.

· $165,000 for small and medium businesses via Venture Taranaki SME grant

· $90,000 community and commercial rent relief.

· $50,000 to help buildings owners keep main street properties looking good.

· Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works.

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