$9k grant helps trust help youth
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.
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.’’