$50K boost for wellbeing initiatives in lakes region

Aspiring Quilters (from left) Marie Taylor, Michelle Moynihan and Margaret Hall have received...
Aspiring Quilters (from left) Marie Taylor, Michelle Moynihan and Margaret Hall have received funding to continue threading together their passion for quilt-making, with the purpose of contributing back to their local community. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Te Hau Toka Wellbeing Group this week announced that more than $50,000 will go towards improving people’s mental wellbeing across the whole of the southern lakes region in the next few months through the group’s Connecting Communities fund.

Within that sum Central Otago mental wellbeing initiatives will collectively receive over $11,000 from the quarterly allocated grants. .

Wellbeing Group chairwoman Adell Cox said the huge response from groups across the region and the diversity of innovative ideas to improve mental wellbeing was "truly inspirational".

"The Connecting Communities fund is really important because it gives us the opportunity to hear directly from our communities on a regular basis about what they want and need to improve their wellbeing.

"Applications nearly doubled from round one and they reflect how tough it is out there at the moment so we’ve done our best to support as many initiatives as we can to help people stay well."

Successful Wanaka and Cromwell based applicants included MINT Charitable Trust, Cromwell Scout Group, The CanInspire Charitable Trust, Upper Clutha Historical Records Society, Fine Thyme Theatre Company, Aspiring Quilters, Grow Wanaka Community Garden, NZ Deerstalkers Association (Upper Clutha Branch), Women’s Circle, Lake Hawea Community Centre and Parent to Parent Otago.

Jeanette Sharpe, of Aspiring Quilters Wanaka, said their funding would be spent on materials to make more quilts to continue giving back to those in need.

"Our current focus is to make charity quilts for the Cancer Society to give to their patients. We’re also responding to the huge demand for neonatal and cot-size quilts which we donate to the Upper Clutha Plunket Society to pass on to new mums," Ms Sharpe said.

Te Hau Toka Southern Lakes Wellbeing Group chairwoman Adell Cox said she was delighted to see more applicants working together and developing a broader network of community mental wellbeing opportunities.

"We’re still getting a stream of fresh ideas each funding round, but it’s wonderful to see a growing sense of collaboration and cohesion between groups. They’re partnering up on initiatives and momentum is building to develop them into ongoing programmes and events for wider community benefit. Ultimately, this will help build stronger, more sustainable mental wellbeing support networks in our region going forward," Ms Cox said.

The Connecting Communities fund is part of a $3 million government fund and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)’s Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery and Re-set Plan.

The next round of funding is due to open on October 31.



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