Funding for NZ Gifts of Love and Strength charity denied

NZ Gifts of Love and Strength volunteers Lynette Hill (left), Rafia Chaudry, founder Vicki-Anne...
NZ Gifts of Love and Strength volunteers Lynette Hill (left), Rafia Chaudry, founder Vicki-Anne Parker and Jessica Campbell-Beardsell have sold hundreds of face masks to get by after the charity’s funding was denied. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Volunteers at a Christchurch-based charity that provides crucial support to those experiencing traumatic events have resorted to selling face masks to stay afloat.

NZ Gifts of Love and Strength started selling handmade, affordable face masks when their application for Government funding of $15,000 was declined by the Community Organisation Grants Scheme.

The charity’s operational costs are $17,000 per year.

Founder Vicki-Anne Parker said they were not expecting the full amount, but anything was "better than nothing".

“It was gut-wrenching because this is the second time it’s happened and we know we do a damn good job,” said Parker.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
They work hand-in-hand with other organisations, such as the Red Cross, providing refugees with unique care packages upon arrival.

Partnerships like this prevented the organisation from having their funding application accepted.

"The excuse they gave us was pretty sad.

"They told us we had duplicated services because the Government already provided funding for the Red Cross, so they said we didn’t need it,” she said.

Parker believed the funding decline for the second time highlighted issues within the voluntary sector when it came to accessing funding.

"We haven’t been established for two years so it’s always hard to get funding. Bigger charities always get funding,” she said.


"Lots of charities are also being set up, but they’re failing because of it.”

Selling face masks has made "a huge impact" in many ways as they have been inundated with hundreds of orders, raising nearly $2500.

"Former clients come back and volunteer with us, so it shows we’re making a difference,” she said.

"One of the fathers from the Vivian St fire lost his only child and helped make face masks for us to pay it forward.”






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