Two Million Dollars of Financial Help Available to Canterbury Community Groups

Three years on from the Canterbury earthquakes, many community and social organisations remain stretched by additional demand for their services.

Consequently, The Canterbury Community Trust (‘the Trust’) has released $2 million in funding to establish an innovative fund to immediately support organisations at a grassroots level. The ‘Need Help Now Fund’ will be launched at the Rehua Marae on 11 April 2014.

According to Trust Chair, Tracey Chambers “This is a resilent city and many groups have stepped up and provided much needed additional support. But not surprisingly and as you would expect there are many stories of the stress our communities are under as a result of the earthquake events three years ago”.

“International research regarding disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, underlines the longevity of the demand for community services and this fund is a way to provide support when it is needed – right now.”

The $2 million fund aims to support groups on the frontline of community service dealing with earthquake-related increases in demand.

“The earthquakes have taught us many lessons – most importantly that disasters can unite a community. The Trust is proactive in its vision to work in a collaborative way and pull resources for better, more sustainable long-term outcomes across all sectors of our communities.”

“We are asking Canterbury organisations and groups to let us know about the funding they need right now to make a difference to members of their community. It is important to us that we listen to what the community is saying in ascertaining where the real needs are – rather than assuming we know,” Tracey says.

The plan is to allocate the entire $2 million fund within the next 12 months.

“While we will ensure that the Trust’s funding criteria is fully complied with, we don’t want to over-complicate the application process.”

Interested groups will need to fill in a one-page application form outlining the project, with their local Community Board member’s endorsement.

Funding criteria includes ensuring the services are delivered in Canterbury and benefit the region. There will also be a need to show the link between increase in demand for services and the earthquakes. There is additional scope to fund new initiatives at a grassroots level that will bring tangible benefits to a community.

Funding will be distributed in two parts:

  • Need Help Now – $1.85 million (limit per group of $50,000)

Supporting community organisations and groups experiencing greater demand on their services as a direct result of the earthquakes; assisting with operating expenses for executing new initiatives that demonstrate real benefit to the community

  • Building Communities – $150,000 (limit per group of $5,000)

Assisting grass-roots initiatives that enhance community wellbeing – for example monthly neighbourhood sausage sizzle, new playground equipment or welcome packs for communities and migrants. This fund is about communities defining themselves and telling us what their needs are.

“Our aim is to assist Cantabrians in the building of strong, connected and resilient communities following the devastating earthquakes,” says Tracey.

“The short allocation period creates a high-impact fund that targets organisations and groups who need our immediate help to continue their great work or execute a new initiative with real benefit to the community.”