Cash in­jec­tion saves com­mu­nity groups

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - GARDENING - JEN­NIFER EDER

The lat­est fund­ing from the Rata Foun­da­tion has saved some cash­strapped groups in Marl­bor­ough from shut­ting up shop.

The Christchurch-based phil­an­thropic or­gan­i­sa­tion has ap­proved $242,000 worth of grants to Marl­bor­ough groups be­tween April and June.

The largest grant has gone to the Marl­bor­ough Fam­ily Bud­get­ing Ser­vice, which strug­gled af­ter a long-stand­ing con­tract with the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment ended last year.

Marl­bor­ough Fam­ily Bud­get­ing Ser­vice co-or­di­na­tor Denise Best says most of the $25,000 grant will be spent on op­er­at­ing costs to se­cure the ser­vice’s short-term fu­ture. ’’It’s go­ing to go to­wards our wages. It means we can keep our part-time staff em­ployed,’’ Denise says.

‘‘We are very grate­ful to the Rata Foun­da­tion. There’s more and more peo­ple need­ing help with money, but there’s also more and more groups look­ing for fund­ing.’’

Rata Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Louise Ed­wards says the grants are aimed at sup­port­ing peo­ple who par­tic­i­pate in their com­mu­ni­ties, which has wide ben­e­fits for health and com- mu­nity well­be­ing. The Marl­bor­ough re­gion has been through a tough pe­riod since the Novem­ber earth­quakes, Louise says.

‘‘It’s great to see some of the fan­tas­tic projects com­ing through aimed at re­build­ing the fab­ric of this di­verse com­mu­nity.’’

The Bread of Life Trust, Marl­bor­ough Youth De­vel­op­ment Trust and Blen­heim River­side Rail­way So­ci­ety re­ceived $20,000 each.

Bread of Life man­ager Brian Gull says the fund­ing will be used to keep pro­vid­ing free pro­grammes for the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We are to­tally re­liant on grants, gifts, spon­sors and fundrais­ers for pro­vid­ing much­needed help to around 1500 peo­ple and fam­i­lies per year,’’ Brian says.

‘‘Bot­tom line is that there is not enough money be­ing put into so­cial wel­fare and NGOs are hav­ing to pick up the slack. With­out or­gan­i­sa­tions like Rata, Lot­ter­ies, and phil­an­thropic trusts, we would not be in a po­si­tion to help those in need, and there are many of them.’’

Other groups re­ceiv­ing large amounts in­clude the Marl­bor­ough Play­cen­tre As­so­ci­a­tion which re­ceived $15,000, and the Awa­tere Com­mu­nity Trust which re­ceived $18,000.

STUFF

Rata Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Louise Ed­wards.

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