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Otago Community Trust has funded over $950,000 in support of a wide range of community projects in the Trust’s final funding round for 2021, one of the largest grants being awarded to support the youth entrepreneurship programme Mana Rangatahi.

A $300,000 grant was awarded to the Transition to Work Trust to support a new partnership with INNOV8HQ to continue the ongoing delivery of the Mana Rangatahi programme, a programme which is dedicated to supporting new pathways for youth of all ethnicities and backgrounds aged between 18-24 years.

Developed in January 2020 by Heidi Renata, funding for the programme was initially provided by the Ministry of Youth via Start-up Dunedin. Further trials of the programme have produced exceptional results with more than 75% of graduates progressing to full time, entrepreneurial or part time employment.

Trust chair, Diccon Sim said Otago Community Trust trustees were particularly impressed with the success of the Mana Rangatahi programme to date and it’s close alignment with the Trust’s strategic priority of raising resilience and capacity of youth in Otago gave rise to a strong case for support.

Transition to Work Trust chair, Dr John Guthrie, said the significant grant from Otago Community Trust will allow the Transition to Work team to support Heidi and INNOV8HQ further expand and develop the programme over the next two years.

“INNOV8HQ have a programme that can be expanded to other regions, working together we believe that we can better respond to the increase in demand we are seeing due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.”

It really is a dream partnership for all parties and one that will transform the lives and build the capacity of youth in Otago, said Dr Guthrie.

Heidi Renata, founder of Innov8HQ and the Mana Rangatahi programme, said it was simply “the best news before Christmas”.

“Connecting, resourcing and empowering young people is hugely rewarding, knowing we have funding to continue to do what we love with our Mana Rangatahi programme is just awesome.”

A $200,000 grant to Catholic Social Services was also awarded in December to support with the construction of a new Family Support Centre adjacent to existing offices in Macandrew Road, South Dunedin.

Mike Tonks, director of Catholic Social Services said the social service agency was very excited to be advancing this new build.

“The project is particularly focused on providing better spaces for family focused services.”

The Family Support Centre will make a huge difference in so many ways, it will help us expand our direct caring services to the community, it will help us deliver more targeted support to vulnerable families and their children, it will ensure we have a child friendly space catering to those with disabilities and it will free up space in our current location to help deliver counselling services to those in our community with low to moderate mental health issues, said Mr Tonks.

Other organisations benefiting from grants in December included the Southland Charity Hospital who received a $64,500 grant to assist with the cost of establishing the new charity hospital, the grant specifically being earmarked to support the purchase of a Soluscope Drying Cabinet. A $20,000 grant was awarded to Waitaki Community Recreation Centre Trust which will assist with the cost of a flooring and lighting upgrade.

In total 54 community organisations were supported in the Trust’s final funding round for the year with a total of $954,677 approved.

About the Otago Community Trust

The Otago Community Trust is a philanthropic organisation which applies its Trust funds for charitable and other purposes which are of benefit to the community. The Otago Community Trust has its origins in the Dunedin Savings Bank, established in 1864 by public spirited citizens seeking to encourage thrift within the community, and distribute surplus profits to charitable causes.

In 1988 the Government restructured the ownership of regional savings banks and gifted the ownership of the Otago Savings Bank to the community through the establishment of the Trust Bank Otago Community Trust. The amalgamation of the regional savings banks resulted in the establishment of Trust Bank New Zealand Ltd. In the mid 1990’s the Otago Community Trust as it is now known sold its shares in Trust Bank New Zealand Ltd for $131M and invested the proceeds.

The Trust now has over $300M invested and since inception has granted more than $200M into the Otago region. The Trust aims to make wise investment decisions that preserve the original capital for future generations as well as having a healthy grants budget each year.  

OTAGO COMMUNITY TRUST GRANTS, DECEMBER 2021
Alexandra Central Otago District Council $4,600
Central Otago Friendship Network $3,500
Central Otago A & P Association $3,385
Balclutha Life Education Trust Heartland Otago Southland $10,000
Catlins Medical Centre (2017) Ltd $3,300
South Otago Theatrical Soc Inc $8,000
Dunedin Catholic Social Services $5,000
Youthline Otago Inc $5,000
Dunedin Community House Trust Inc $4,980
Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust $4,830
ChatBus Trust $4,100
Anglican Family Care $3,950
Ake Ake Theatre Company $10,000
The Waitati Music Festival Inc $10,000
Otago Neighbourhood Support Charitable Trust $9,550
Green Island Fireside Club Inc $4,500
Punga Croquet Club Inc $4,000
Blueskin Youth & Community Amenities Association $4,000
Royal NZ Pipe Band Assn – Otago Centre $2,500
Alhambra/Union Rugby Football Club Inc $1,000
Broad Bay School $940
Mornington Roslyn Lawn Tennis Club Inc $580
Otago   Polytechnic – College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing,   English Language Centre $28,000
Otago Youth Wellness Trust $20,000
CCS Disability Action Otago Inc $17,500
St Hildas Collegiate School $16,600
Wakari School $15,000
St Clair Bowling Club Inc $8,000
Dhammachai International Research Institute (DIRI) $5,000
Catholic Social Services $200,000
Oamaru North Otago Art Society Inc $5,000
Janet Frame Eden Street Trust $3,500
Waitaki Summer Music Camp $2,500
North Otago Sports Bodies Association Incorporated $1,500
Waitaki Community Recreation Centre Trust $20,000
Oamaru Elim Church Trust $12,000
Otago The Work Opportunities Trust $3,380
Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector Research   Centre $8,000
Otago Aero Club Inc $7,430
Crohn’s & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust $6,000
Cavalcade Host Town Committee Inc $6,000
Diabetes New Zealand $5,000
The Work Opportunities Trust $3,000
Male Survivors Otago $3,000
Transition to Work Trust $300,000
The Southland Charitable Hospital Trust $64,500
Ranfurly Poolburn School $5,257
Wanaka Mint Charitable Trust $5,000
QLDC – Upper Clutha Libraries $6,395
Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust $20,000
Kahu Youth Trust $17,000
Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust $15,000
Aspiring Gymsports Inc $10,000
Hawea Community Assn Inc $7,400