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Funding Boosts Life Skills For Youth, Celebrates Local Fashion, & Helps Build Community Hub

From fashionable runways to bike repair stations, the Otago Community Trust is supporting a diverse array of initiatives with $149,280 in grants announced for its March 2024 funding round. The grants will bring confidence-building outdoor adventures to youth, expand a beloved community workshop, and add flair to Dunedin's creative calendar.

The largest grant of $120,000 was awarded to the Cromwell MenzShed, a contribution to build a new, fit-for-purpose facility in Cromwell. The new shed will allow the organisation to expand its membership and increase the number of community projects its members can take on, from building wheelchair ramps to constructing mud kitchens for schools.

“The MenzShed is integral to the community network... it creates an environment where topics such as personal wellbeing, and other men's health issues, can be safely discussed either one on one or as an organised group session,” says Russ Fowler from the Cromwell MenzShed.

"The members of the MenzShed provide invaluable services to the Cromwell community through the skills and lifetime experiences they bring," said Andy Kilsby, Chair of the Otago Community Trust. "This new facility will allow even more retired tradesmen to join and contribute their talents, and for others to learn new skills, while making social connections within their community."

Tahuna Normal Intermediate School received $16,280 to help cover bus transportation costs for the school's Year 8 camp at Camp Columba in 2024. The camp aims to build students' independence, confidence, and problem-solving abilities before they transition to high school.

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Simon Clarke, Principle of Tahuna Normal Intermediate School says “the generous donation from the Otago Community Trust has allowed our Year 8 students to attend a camp that will be full of challenge, excitement and a chance to connect with nature”.

The iD Dunedin Fashion Festival, taking place April 4-7, was granted $7,000. The festival will celebrate Dunedin's fashion industry through runway shows, exhibitions, talks, and other events promoting local designers and retailers.

“We’re so delighted by the number of events we’ve been able to curate for our first iD Dunedin Fashion Festival – the programme is really exciting and will give our audiences some new and fun experiences” says Victoria Muir, iD Event Manager. “The support from the Otago Community Trust has enabled us to present so many events, in particular the first iD Dunedin George Street catwalk, featuring free public fashion shows on Saturday 6 April.”

Other recipients include the Karitane Bowling Club who received $3,000 for a new boundary fence, and Up-Cycles Charity Trust was given $1,500 for a branded gazebo to continue delivering bike repair and cycling skills programs.

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