Two major donations for trust

Goodman Fielder plant manager Gary Simmons (left) hands over a $7000 cheque from the firm’s annual golf  tournament to Dunedin Night Shelter Trust chairman Dave Brown (second from left) and trust secretary Pat Robertson (centre),  while members of the G
Goodman Fielder plant manager Gary Simmons (left) hands over a $7000 cheque from the firm’s annual golf tournament to Dunedin Night Shelter Trust chairman Dave Brown (second from left) and trust secretary Pat Robertson (centre), while members of the Goodman Fielder fundraising team (from left) Sharon Watson, Michael Stuart and Phil Parker look on. Supplied photo

Substantial donations are helping the Dunedin Night Shelter Trust extend its social work services.

Mercy Hospital Charitable Outreach will contribute $39,000 annually for the next three years, and staff at Goodman Fielder have recently given $7000 raised at their annual golf tournament.

Trust chairman Dave Brown said the ‘‘super generous'' donations would be used to help pay salaries when the trust's plans to increase its community social work reached fruition.

Next month, an operations director will begin work overseeing the night shelter and the adjacent six-bed Phoenix House at the Lees St property, which has been used by the Prisoners Aid Rehabilitation Society to provide short-term ‘‘stepping stone'' accommodation for those ‘‘fresh out of prison''.

The new arrangement would see the shelter and the lodge work more closely together and the accommodation used more widely. For instance, the lodge could be used for someone who had spent time at the 12-bed night shelter and needed transitional housing.

In July, the funding from Mercy Hospital Charitable Outreach would allow the trust to appoint a community worker to provide support to other people in the community who might be ‘‘facing the prospect of losing accommodation or who have problems with accommodation''.

Mission co-ordinator Janice McDrury said the type of service proposed, which could include ensuring people received the correct benefits and helping former prisoners become work-ready, ‘‘fits really well with our ethos''.

By allocating funds over three years, the charity recognised it was an emerging service which would need to be responsive to the community.

Mr Brown praised the generosity of both organisations.

Both had contributed to the successful $600,000 fundraising campaign to buy the property last year,with Mercy Hospital giving $30,000 and Goodman Fielder donating $5500 from its 2015 golf tournament.

The firm also provided a tray of bread weekly, which was much appreciated.

While the trust was ‘‘doing OK'', it still needed to keep applying for funds and was seeking four new board members to help with that, Mr Brown said.

Some previous board members closely involved with the ‘‘milestone'' of the building purchase had stepped down.

Anyone interested in serving on the board could contact him at sawyersbrown@xtra.co.nz.

- Elspeth McLean 

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