Old pennies support programmes

Old money is being converted into new experiences for young New Zealanders.

To date, 14 tonnes of old money has been collected nationwide after a Queenstown Lions Club member started the fundraiser more than two years ago.

Simon Hayes wondered what became of the estimated $80 million worth of old money that was no longer legal tender, and set about collecting it in aid of youth.

The obsolete cash is redeemed for New Zealand dollars and used to fund education programmes and scholarships for New Zealand youth.

Since June 2010, 14 tonnes of old money and foreign currency has been collected.

"Dozens of students have received funding to attend education programmes, such as the Hillary Step Programme at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, Outward Bound and Spirit of Adventure," Mr Hayes said.

Lions Clubs New Zealand is now inviting funding applications from individuals and groups under 18 years to benefit from Heads up for Kids.

Mr Hayes said funding was not just for outdoor activities "but any course that provides positive value to the lives of young New Zealanders ... we strongly encourage applications for education programmes involved in arts and music to sports and academia also." Funding is intended to help young people experience an activity that would enable them to live their dream, establish life goals and reach full potential within a chosen field.

• The fundraiser became a nationwide Lions Clubs effort and was supported by Fastway Couriers, Resene paints and New World.