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Christmas Funding Boost For Dunedin Night Shelter

Otago Community Trust approved over $1.3 million in grants to support of a wide range of community projects in what was the Trust’s final funding round for 2023 last week. The Dunedin Night Shelter, a pillar of support for the homeless community, received a substantial funding boost in the latest round of grants.

The Dunedin Night Shelter Trust was approved a $100,000 grant to support the renovations required to increase existing bed capacity and enhance accessibility.

Clare Curran outgoing chairwoman for the Dunedin Night Shelter said that in response to the challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Night Shelter conducted a comprehensive strategic review last year, pinpointing key areas that required urgent attention.

“One of the primary concerns highlighted was the inadequacy of the current dining, lounge, and kitchen spaces and the lack of a downstairs bedroom and accessible bathroom has been a longstanding issue.” Ms Curran said.

“Thanks to the $100,000 grant from Otago Community Trust, we now have a solid foundation to drive our fundraising campaign focused on “Building a Better Shelter” forward and ensure that the Night Shelter continues to operate and grow as a community asset for those in need.”

Otago Community Trust chief executive Jemma Adams said it is pleasing to see such a comprehensive design concept has been developed, featuring an extension of the Night Shelter's services in Dunedin.

“The Trust is very pleased to be supporting the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust on this crucial journey to make the premise more fit for purpose, safe, and comfortable for all occupants.”

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The Alexandra Elim Church Trust also received a large $180,000 capital grant to support its multi-purpose community space development which will include a 215-seat auditorium and two multi-functional spaces.

Senior pastor Aaron More said over the past three years the Church community has been developing plans and raising funds to transform the property in Ngapara St into a modern, multi-purpose facility.

“Thanks to the $180,000 grant from Otago Community Trust, the $250,000 from Central Lakes Trust and the $500,000 already raised, we are now well within reach of our funding target.”

This second significant grant ensures we will be able to start the project in early 2024, we are just delighted that our vision for the facility and our community is becoming a reality, said More.

Otago Community Trust chair Andy Kilsby said the Trust is pleased to be supporting the development of this significant community asset for the Alexandra and Central Otago area.

Our trustees have been impressed with the time and consideration that has been committed to the project and the fact that community groups including Alexandra Community Patrol and Alzheimer's Otago already used the church as a base. The prospect of additional community groups utilising the space upon completion, is encouraging to see, said Kilsby.

Other organisations benefiting from community grants in December included Lawrence Bike Club Incorporated who were approved a $25,000 grant to assist with the cost of developing a Mountain Bike trail in the Wetherstone Creek Reserve area. Youth Search and Rescue New Zealand Trust were approved a $16,500 grant to assist with the cost of setting up a Youth Search & Rescue (YSAR) programme in Dunedin, and a $30,000 grant was approved to Maniototo Ice Rink Inc to upgrade the Ice Rink's refrigeration plant.

The Trust approved a $454,631 grant to Barnardos New Zealand under its Tamariki and Rangatahi Impact Fund to support the wellbeing strategy of Milton Primary School. Further information will be shared on this grant in the new year.

In total Otago Community Trust approved $1,305,775 to 67 organisations in December 2023, this included funding of $107,994 to 19 organisations for capability-based initiatives in areas of governance, management, strategic plan development and health and safety. The Trust’s capability funding is aimed at strengthening the systems of service delivery for not-for-profit organisations across Otago.

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