Helping Clutha pupils get happy feet

Clutha Budget Advisory Service co-ordinator Lee-Anne Michelle says new local initiative Happy...
Clutha Budget Advisory Service co-ordinator Lee-Anne Michelle says new local initiative Happy Feet will help lower-income families upgrade children's school shoes. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
South Otago pupils will soon be able to put their best foot forward, thanks to a fledgling community foundation.

The Clutha Foundation announced recipients of its final round of $25,000 pass-through funding from the Otago Community Trust this week, among whom will be the Clutha Budget Advisory Service.

Service co-ordinator Lee-Anne Michelle said the $2000 received would allow it to "kick start" new initiative Happy Feet, helping provide new school shoes to lower-income families locally.

She said some families struggled to meet strict uniform requirements, and this could be an obstacle to attendance at school.

"Sometimes we or another agency will find a child has not been attending school, and it comes down to something as simple as not having the right shoes.

"The money from the foundation means we can take this straightforward, practical step to help financially, and tick that box off."

Recipients would be selected by referral from other agencies, and could receive up to $50 towards a new pair of school shoes, once a year.

The initial funding allowed for 40 grants to be made, after which further funding would be sought, Mrs Michelle said.

"We see a need out there, so we’d like to keep it going just to take a little bit of pressure off our families locally."

Clutha Foundation spokeswoman Kerry Seymour said recipients of its second round of funding were selected due to the positive difference they made in their respective communities.

"As the fallout from Covid-19 deepens, our communities will face increasing hardship, and we expect to see community priorities and the funding landscape change.

"The foundation allows the generous people of the Clutha District to continue making a difference through initiatives like Happy Feet."


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