Fund boost for Community House


The community house treating some neighbors to lunch last year in July

More than $140,000 has been allocated by Waipā District Council to support the community’s recovery from Covid-19.

And the majority of it will fund an additional counsellor and social worker at Cambridge Community House.

In June Council approved a $795,000 Covid-19 recovery package to support local initiatives to help people in the district recover socially and economically from impacts of the pandemic.

The package included the employment of two community advisors plus an increase in event funding and district marketing money.

It also included a $400,000 contestable fund – split into two $200,000 funding rounds – to support recovery led by iwi and community organisations.

During the first funding round this month, 12 organisations applied for support with $141,354.62 allocated to five recovery projects. Organisations which secured money from the fund were: Ngāti Koroki Kahukura Trust ($20,000) for a 12-month programme of events to help people navigate support and health services, support kaumātua and support food gathering and production; Ngāti Apakura Runanga Trust ($10,000) for a feasibility study around establishing a nursery; Cambridge Committee of Social Services ($1000) to support families on low incomes at Christmas; Citizens Advice Bureau Te Awamutu ($5,314) to temporarily increase hours to cope with a surge in enquiries; Cambridge Community House ($105,040) to support an additional  counsellor and social worker.

Seven other applications to the fund were declined, with the remaining funding rolled into the next round of allocations in mid-2021.

Council’s group manager strategy and community services Debbie Lascelles said efforts to support the community were being overseen by a recovery project control group.

“We are working in a very structured way so our efforts focus hard on those areas which Council has identified as needing the most attention. We’ve had discussions with the majority of our iwi partners to make sure we are working together in the best possible way.”

Council’s two new community advisors were in place, community group funding had been allocated and Council was already working to attract more events and more visitors to the district, she said.

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