$9k grant helps trust help youth

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A Porirua trust that helps dis­ad­van­taged and at-risk youth learn food- grow­ing skills has been awarded a Med­ibank Com­mu­nity Fund grant to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions.

The Asert-Ta­tou De­vel­op­ment Trust, in part­ner­ship with Whi­tireia Com­mu­nity Polytech­nic, runs Te Rito Gar­dens, a train­ing and work pro­gramme where par­tic­i­pants learn to grow or­ganic food sus­tain­ably, build self­con­fi­dence and de­velop skills and knowl­edge for a ca­reer in hor­ti­cul­ture.

Ad­min­is­tra­tor and tu­tor Sam Buchanan says the trust is de­lighted to be one of the re­cip­i­ents of the Med­ibank fund.

The $9200 grant will be used to main­tain and im­prove pro­grammes over the next year.

‘‘We plan to de­velop our train­ing pro­gramme and fur­ther our com­mu­nity out­reach to raise aware­ness of the ben­e­fits of a good diet and the im­prove­ment in per­sonal well­be­ing that comes from grow­ing your own food,’’ Mr Buchanan said.

The trust sells or­ganic fruit and veg­eta­bles, in­clud­ing its own pro­duce, at its premises in Has­sell Rd, Kenepuru, and at lo­cal mar­kets, and hopes to be self­sus­tain­ing be­fore 2015.

Mr Buchanan says Te Rito Gar­dens de­pends heav­ily on vol­un­teers to pro­vide ex­tra coach­ing and as­sis­tance to stu­dents.

‘‘This fund­ing will al­low us to pro­vide equip­ment and good work­ing con­di­tions, and to re­im­burse the ex­penses of our vol­un­teers.

SamovBeurcth­hae­nanne,

tra’tor ‘‘Fund­ing is an on­go­ing headache which can make it difficult to re­tain the skills we need to de­liver our pro­grammes.

‘‘This grant gives us con­fi­dence that we can main­tain and im­prove our pro­grammes over the next 12 months.’’

The 2012 round of Med­ibank Com­mu­nity Fund Com­mu­nity Grants pro­vided $ 60,000 of fund­ing for New Zealand projects that make im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tions to the health and well­be­ing of lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

There were two other lo­cal re­cip­i­ents, Holy Fam­ily School and Wesley Com­mu­nity Ac­tion.

The lat­ter re­ceived $22,000 for its com­mu­nity pantry, which works with food bank clients and other vol­un­teers to grow veg­eta­bles and fruit in com­mu­nity gar­dens.

Holy Fam­ily School re­ceived $5000 to fund the school’s break- fast club, which pro­vides 200 healthy break­fasts for stu­dents aged 5 to 10 years.

The club re­lies on su­per­vi­sion from school staff and oc­ca­sional vol­un­teer as­sis­tance from par­ents.

Med­ibank Com­mu­nity Fund am­bas­sador Anna Soes­ber­gen says th­ese grants are an in­vest­ment in com­mu­nity health.

‘‘ The Med­ibank Com­mu­nity Fund Com­mu­nity Grants pro­gramme is all about help­ing grass­roots projects im­prove health at a lo­cal level.

‘‘ We’re de­lighted to give a fund­ing boost to a pro­gramme that is mak­ing such an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to par­tic­i­pants and to the Porirua com­mu­nity.’’

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