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Funding open for community groups hit by COVID-19

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Funding is available to Western Bay of Plenty community groups struggling to fund projects as a result of COVID-19.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has given $121,200 to community groups and there is still a further $178,800 to allocate.

Council’s $300,000 Community Resilience Fund has been welcomed by groups from across the district whose traditional funding channels have dried up in the wake of the pandemic.

The one-off fund opened last month and is part of council’s Economic Recovery Plan to assist the local economy and provide relief in the medium and long term. So far 17 groups have received funding.

Councillor James Denyer, who is on the fund’s assessment panel, encourages groups to get applications in before the fund runs out.

“Council is keen to help those in the community who do so much to improve our wellbeing and community resilience. In the face of significant adversity and uncertainty, we want to make sure that they can continue to do their much-valued work.

“I have been really proud of how groups have stepped up magnificently during the COVID-19 crisis, directly helping those who have struggled. I encourage local organisations who make a difference to our lives to apply for a grant from the fund.”

Tauranga’s Breast Cancer Support Service gained $10,000. Board of trustees chair Lara Burkhardt says the support will make a huge difference to the service which has suffered an income loss of up to 90 percent in the two months since the pandemic struck.

“We are quite overwhelmed with Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s financial support through the Community Resilience Fund. This funding is extremely welcome as we struggle to find our financial feet after COVID-19.

“We are a small local charity that has been supporting those with breast cancer in the Western Bay of Plenty from Maketu through to Waihi Beach since 1991.

“We rely on a mix of donations, fundraising, sponsorships and grants to be able to provide our services. This money will make a big difference to those who have breast cancer in our community.”

Council is giving priority to groups seeking up to $10,000 and for those organisations who can show COVID-19 has had a negative effect on their ability to fund costs.

Applications for more than $10,000 will also be considered but may require further supporting information. The aim is to spread the funding across as many groups as possible in the district. The fund is open to registered charities, non-governmental organisations, incorporated societies or community groups.

Council will consider reimbursing costs to applicants that have already provided essential community-led services to support local resilience and community wellbeing during the COVID-19 emergency, on the same basis as other applications.

More information is available here.

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