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Charities bracing for surge in demand

The Trusts CEO Allan Pollard. Supplied photo.

Charities are bracing for an expected surge in demand as the onset of winter and growing fears recent legislative changes may increase rents - place additional stress on families.

To help address the increase in need, a social enterprise that derives its funding from its hospitality and retail operations is committing over $1m to charities and local groups this year - despite facing an uncertain trading environment.

The Trusts, who will allocate the funding to community organisations, say the pandemic has changed the face of need in New Zealand and their model is being adapted to ensure charitable organisations can continue to provide structured support where it is most required.

The Trusts CEO Allan Pollard says Christmas, the start of the school year and winter are the three most difficult times of the year for families managing their budgets.

“For many Kiwi families, the arrival of winter signals a new round of financial pressure that they are often ill-equipped to bear. 

“The cost of new clothing, bedding and just staying warm over winter will see many families having to make choices that may risk compromising their health - whether it is through changing their nutritional intake or even sacrificing a visit to the doctor.

“At the same time, the spectre of potential rents increase as a result of changes in the macro-environment creates uncertainty and stress.

“While some tenants may have the option to move home if their rent is increased, for many even the expense of shifting house creates another cost they simply cannot afford.

“Sadly it is some of the most vulnerable in our community that live continuously on the threshold of financial hardship - struggling from week to week,” he says.

He says this is expected to see hundreds of thousands of dollars provided in grants and sponsorships for community projects.

Pollard says charities, schools, and community groups who are interested in applying for the major grants expressions of interest should contact The Trusts for more information.

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