Winning Ideas
Cromwell College Student Council members Tom Courdret, Izzy Miscisco, Teacher Steve Hodkinson and Jayde Wilson, pitching for Parkrun. Photo Jan Hawkins

Last Thursday night in the Cromwell Presbyterian Church Hall, 11 groups faced the “Dragons’ Den” of Karen Gallagher, Rachael Thomas, Jess Sutherland, Wally Sandford and Glen Christiansen, to pitch their proposal, in a bid to get funding for their great community idea.

Back in July, Connect Cromwell launched a competition, calling on people to share their ideas for bringing our local people together.

Winning proposals would get funding and promotional support, and advice if needed. The criteria for the applications were aligned to the Cromwell Community Action Plan.

Twenty-five proposals were received by the organisation and 11 of these were accepted for the pitch.

After a delay due to lockdown, the finalists presented their ideas to a maximum-allowed audience, and the quality and variety of the ideas were impressive.

After grand speeches, power points, costumes and attempts at bribery, all eleven groups gained funding on or near their requested level. Those who received less were promised support in promoting their idea.

These are the thoughtful, exciting and worthy community-led projects that can now become reality:

A vandal-proof bike repair station for public use; Creation of interpretative signs and driftwood artworks on the lakeside; An update on the Cromwell Community Pantry; Cromwell mountain bike parks;  Mokihi Reforestation community planting and celebration event; A multi-sport goalpost for Pisa Moorings; Establishing a Parkrun weekly event; Rabbit grids for Pisa Moorings; An ethnic eats community event celebrating our newcomers; A Kiwi Baby and Kids market to recycle quality toys and clothing; A health expo for the community to discover what health professionals are available in our local area. Pitchers varied in age from primary students to retired volunteers, and the amounts received were from $1000 to $3850.

It was a very positive community event, and every pitching group went home ready to progress their winning idea.