Grants support community projects

A $25,000 grant from the Otago Community Trust means the Blueskin Playcentre has almost all the money required to begin building its new base at Waitati School.

"I'm really excited. We're almost there," president Mikaela Wilson said yesterday.

The playcentre relocated last year from leased premises to a temporary home in a classroom at Waitati School and needs $181,000 to refit another classroom as a permanent home and add a bathroom, kitchen, office and storage space.

The bulk of the money was coming from Playcentre Association's southern regional capital works fund and the remainder from grants and parent fundraising, Ms Wilson said.

Construction was expected to begin later this year when all the money was raised.

The move to the school had been welcomed by parents, she said.

"We were quite out of the way before ... We believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the children to make an easy transition to school."

The grant was among 28 totalling $278,950 the trust gave to 28 organisations in the region last month.

A home insulation project being run by the Otago Regional Council in conjunction with the Dunedin City Council received $50,000.

The project allows 100 Dunedin home-owners with community services cards the opportunity to have insulation and/or clean heating appliances installed in their homes.

Priority will be given to people with health issues.

A grant of $10,000 was made to help fully stock a library of free audio books available to more than 700 blind and partially-sighted people across Otago, and to provide them with customised technology to play the books.

The donation will help the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind to future-proof its national library, based in Auckland, by moving from cassette tapes to CDs and digital formats.

The Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust received $10,000 towards purchasing the vacant Dunedin Prison near the Dunedin Railway Station. The prison opened in 1898 and was decommissioned in August, 2007 when the Otago Correctional Facility at Milburn was completed.

February grants:

Alexandra: Central Otago A and P Association $500.

Balclutha: Clinton Golf Club $10,000.

Dunedin: NZ Association of Teachers of Singing (Otago) $500, AntiSocial Tap $500, Ad Hoc Productions $1000, Creative Arts Trust Artsenta $1250, Pregnancy Counselling Services $1500, Panache $2000, Dunedin Returned Services Choir $3000, NZ Toastmasters $3000, Otago Accommodation Trust $3500, Port Chalmers Rowing Club $3500, Kempthorne Locomobile Trust $6000, Citizens Advice Bureau Dunedin $7500, Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust $10,000, ChatBus $10,000, Otago Youth Adventure Trust $15,000, Blueskin Playcentre $25,000, Short Film Otago $35,000, Otago Harbour Ferry $45,000, Milton: Lawrence Rodeo Club $3000.

Mosgiel: Taieri Parents Centre $5000, Hawksbury Community Living Trust $10,000.

Oamaru: Waitaki Multicultural Council $1000, Oamaru Assembly of God $4000.

Otago: Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind $10,000, Te Potiki National Trust $12,200, Otago Regional Council warm homes programme $50,000.


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