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Mazda Foundation distributes $80K to community groups

Mazda Foundation distributes $80K to community groups


The Mazda Foundation has donated more than $80,000 to 28 individuals and groups across New Zealand in the first funding round for the year, the biggest amount donated in a single round since 2009.

The Mazda Foundation, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has gifted over $1.7million back to the community since its inception. The Foundation holds three funding rounds each year selecting New Zealanders, community groups and charities that are in need of support.

In the latest round of grants, a combination of education facilities, conservation programs, individuals, and organisations were allocated much needed funding, including Alzheimers Wanganui - who provide support, information and education programmes for people living with dementia, their whanau (family) and the local community.

The organisation received $8,412.25 from the Mazda Foundation to purchase a WanderSearch tracking system which helps locate people with dementia who have the potential to go walking and lose their way. The system is beneficial for people with increased risk who are living in their own home, or in an unsecured residential care facility.

Jenny Spence from Alzheimers Wanganui says New Zealand has a rapidly ageing population which brings with it an increasing number of people with dementia.

“The WanderSearch tracking system will enable people with dementia to continue to live as independently as possible, while giving the family members and carers peace of mind that someone could be found promptly and safely if they went missing.

“For people living with dementia, being connected with their whanau (family), friends and community improves their sense of well-being. The Mazda Foundation, by funding the WanderSearch, is making the difference by supporting the connection.”
Another grant went to Goldfields Special School in Paeroa which services the Coromandel, Thames Valley, Piako and Hauraki districts. The school provides education, health, and social support to students with special needs.

They received $7,514.10 from the Mazda Foundation to purchase two trikes which are specially adapted for children who require the stability of three wheels instead of two. There is also the option for accessories such as a back rest, ankle support and a rear steering system.

Susie Nyika, therapy manager at Goldfields Special School says many of the school’s students are from low socioeconomic backgrounds. She says they have a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island students and are increasingly encountering obesity issues.

“These trikes are a creative way to keep the students fit and healthy. Our students often aren’t able to communicate verbally and have sensory integration difficulties, such as rocking and head banging. A daily trike ride is a safe yet fun way to get students puffing, and as a bonus can calm those who tend to get a little agitated at times.

"We’d like to thank the Mazda Foundation for these trikes because now even the most physically complex students have access to trike riding.”

Andrew Clearwater, Chairman of the Mazda Foundation says the good work taking place in communities across the country is always inspiring.

“We’re proud to be celebrating the Mazda Foundation’s ten year anniversary. Over the past decade the amount of organisations, projects and individuals making a difference has never failed to astound us.

“Whether it’s supporting the elderly so they can maintain their independence or helping disabled children, it’s always humbling to see how much great work goes on throughout New Zealand.”

The Mazda Foundation is funded through a contribution from the sale of every new Mazda in New Zealand.

The closing date for the next round of Mazda Foundation applications is 30 June 2015. For more information or to download an application form, visit www.mazdafoundation.org.nz

Ends

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