Powering Your Community Fund Winners
Last year, we launched a new initiative to power our community through five $1,000 grants to help clubs, schools or local projects make a difference. We’re proud to be 100% community owned and giving back to local communities is important to us.
We're pleased to announce the five winners of the grants were Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ, Sunshine lodge Taupo, Westport Menz Shed, Blue Brothers, and Kawerau Putauaki School.
Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ
Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education NZ is a provider of education services for Deaf and hard of hearing children. With over 300 specialist staff across New Zealand with specialist school provisions, they help people understand their different options and opportunities towards learning and show new ways a child can learn, particularly if they have trouble hearing.
Northland Language Day was initiated to provide opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing learners and their families, to come together and build relationships, and learn new skills through a wide range of activities. This started in 2018, to maximise teaching and building of relationships between Deaf and hard of hearing learners. Northland Language Day improved learners’ confidence, self-esteem, empathy and language skills, giving a sense of identity to children which built connections with Deaf and hard of hearing learners from other areas of Northland.
With the community grant, the foundation plan to purchase new sports equipment, cooking utensils, board games, materials for science, technology, engineering, and maths activities to improve the way children learn and provide an environment that aids in their learning and encourages them throughout.
Sunshine Lodge Taupo
Sunshine Lodge is located in Taupo and owned by the Child Cancer Foundation, hosting families who have either lost a child to cancer or have a child fighting cancer. The lodge provides a safe-haven for those who are struggling, offering them a week away in the house to grieve, process, or simply have time to breathe during this time.
The property is situated on a large section which provides families with a sense of security, privacy, and safety that they may not otherwise feel at the hospital. Over the years, the lodge has housed many families that have turned it into their home and sanctuary for the week.
To maintain the upkeep of the property, which was previously maintained by a volunteer who had been through the same journey with their daughter being diagnosed with cancer, the fund will be used to carry out small repair jobs around the property to keep it open to families for many weeks throughout the year.
Westport Menz Shed
Established in 2015, Westport Menz Shed recognised social needs in the community: redundancies, physiological and physical health issues and an aging population. Their purpose is to establish, maintain and operate a shed with equipment and resources so that the public can share their knowledge and skills applicable to practical projects.
A shed leased by Buller District Council was repaired, connected to power, and equipped with the right tools. Since then, memberships have grown, and an increased number of people have asked to undertake metalwork/engineering projects. In the future, the goal is to complete the wiring and lighting in the new shed and to equip it with suitable engineering/metalwork equipment to meet existing and new members’ needs.
Over the last two years the shed has provided much needed social support for members in the community, being able to keep fees low and affordable for all members is integral to helping as many people as possible while gathering support where needed, like the community fund.
With the grant, they plan to purchase new metalwork/engineering equipment so that their members will have all the tools they need to undertake projects. The support will also enable them to increase the range of community projects that they can support.
Blue Brothers was established in 2019 to promote group exercise and movement opportunities for men living with cancer. The goal is to foster camaraderie, connection and offer mental health and well-being support to members living in the South Island, New Zealand.
What started as an idea after David, the founder, was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2015, the foundation’s exercise classes turned into a journey that was able to support many people in similar situations. Based in Canterbury, the foundation offers five free exercise classes for men living with cancer which are one-hour long sessions.
David and his team plan to put the grant towards growing their exercise class offerings and to introduce more classes for people. The grant will have a positive impact on the number of people that they can reach and offer their classes while continuing to support those that already attend their existing classes.
Kawerau Putauaki School
Kawerau Putauaki School creates a safe space for learning and encourages different methods for children to learn and develop skills. One of their methods of learning includes a sensory room, where they have around 25 students attend daily which has had a significant impact on their ability to learn in other scenarios.
The sensory room was developed on the smell of an oily rag to engage students in different surroundings as a way of learning. With the grant, they plan to use the funding to invest in more specialised equipment for the room so that students have more tools to help them learn.